RapidSOS raises $25 million more to furnish first responders with emergency data


2019-10-09 12:00:16 VentureBeat


Over a decade ago, Michael Martin’s father fell off the roof of his home in Rockport, Indiana, breaking his wrist and shattering his hip. Unable to dial 911 from his cellphone, he laid outside in freezing cold until his wife came home and contacted emergency services from their landline. This catalyzed the founding of RapidSOS in 2012, a startup headed by Martin and Nicholas Horelik with the mission of furnishing 911 responders with superior data. Its first product — a discontinued smartphone app called Haven — enabled users to check in with family or tap visual tiles to quickly initiate a 911 call while transmitting emergency info. In the subsequent years, Haven was supplanted by technologies designed to allow public safety answering points (PSAPs) to access smartphone hybrid location information. RapidSOS attracted the attention of investors in 2015, who committed $500,000 in grant funding to enable it to build out its business-to-business portfolio. They haven’t lost interest; following an initial series B funding round totaling $30 million, the company today announced that it’s raised a $25 million extension led by Energy Impact Partners (EIP). Martin says the fresh funds will support its efforts to secure new data partners and broaden the availability of RapidSOS’ emergency response platform. “This funding supports our mission to connect the world to public safety,” said Martin. “[Our goal is] to ensure everyone has access to emergency services when they need it most.” As Martin explains, the infrastructure behind 911 often dates to the ’60s and ’70s and limits the flow of information to a mere 512 bytes. (That’s less data than was transmitted in the very first transatlantic telegram in 1858.) RapidSOS’ cloud-based emergency infrastructure, then, aims to supplement the connection between callers and emergency services with a suite of tailored APIs and monitoring solutions. RapidSOS provides tools to access and operationalize emergency health and medical information, vehicle telematics, multimedia, building sensor data, and more. RapidSOS Clearinghouse, an NG911-compliant location information server and data repository that’s available to public safety agencies at no cost, collates data from millions of RapidSOS-enabled iOS, Android, wearable, home security, and automotive devices by routing it through the web and software integrations. As for RapidSOS’ Portal product, it allows telecommunicators to view location and rich situational data for calls through a platform-agnostic dashboard. Notably, RapidSOS collaborated with Google in summer 2018 to launch Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) in the U.S., which allows Android devices to send more accurate caller location to 911 communications centers. Around the same time, Apple added support for RapidSOS location data transmission in iOS 12. RapidSOS claims it’s the only platform directly linked with public safety call-taking, dispatch, and mapping systems from every PSAP and first responder software vendor, and that it sources emergency data directly from Uber, MedicAlert Foundation, the American Heart Association, and others in addition to Google and Apple. Furthermore, the company says it connects over 250 million Americans to more than 3,500 local 911 and first responder agencies, and that it’s managed more than 90 million emergencies to help to save thousands of lives. “Integrated and now deployed across thousands of different public safety systems, RapidSOS spent seven years working with public safety to develop a powerful new platform to transform America’s emergency response infrastructure,” said RapidSOS investor and retired former SVP of R&D for Apple Dave Nagel in a statement. Energy Impact Partners partner Sameer Reddy added, “From managing the impact of extreme weather to more routine day-to-day operations, public safety is central to the mission of utilities around the world. We’re excited at the potential of RapidSOS’s advanced technology platform to transform how our utility partners manage safety, security, and emergency operations.” It might be argued that RapidSOS’ adoption has been bolstered partly by a 2021 U.S. Federal Communications Commission mandate, whereby the agency will require carriers to locate callers to within 50 meters at least 80% of the time. But a few of the company’s partners were no doubt persuaded by RapidSOS’ whitepaper, which cites an actuarial analysis that found that every minute saved during life-threatening emergencies could lead to a 2% to 10% reduction in mortality and a 20% reduction in property damage. Previous RapidSOS investors include Android co-creator Andy Rubin’s Playground Global, Highland Capital Partners, M12 (Microsoft’s Venture Fund), Two Sigma Ventures, Forte Ventures, The Westly Group, CSAA Insurance Group, three former FCC chairmen, and Ralph de la Vega, the former CEO of AT&T Business Solutions and AT&T International.
十多年前,迈克尔•马丁( Michael Martin )的父亲从印第安纳州洛克波特( Rockport )家中的屋顶上摔下来,打破手腕,粉碎臀部。由于无法拨打911从他的手机,他放在外面严寒,直到他的妻子回家,并联系应急服务从他们的固定电话。 这促使 RapidSOS 在2012年成立,这是一个由 Martin 和 NicholasHorelik 领导的初创公司,其使命是为911响应人员提供更好的数据。它的第一款产品是一款名为 Haven 的停止使用的智能手机应用,用户可以在发送紧急信息的同时,通过家庭或触屏视觉瓷砖快速启动911电话。在随后的几年中,哈文被旨在允许公共安全应答点( PSAP )访问智能手机混合定位信息的技术所取代。 RapidSOS 在2015年吸引了投资者的注意,他们承诺提供50万美元的赠款资金,使其能够建立企业对企业的投资组合。他们没有失去兴趣;在最初的 B 轮融资之后,该公司今天宣布,它筹集了2500万美元的延期资金,由能源影响合作伙伴( EIP )领导。马丁表示,新基金将支持其努力,以确保新数据合作伙伴的安全,并扩大 RapidSOS 应急响应平台的可用性。 “这笔资金支持我们将世界与公共安全连接起来的使命,”马丁说。“(我们的目标是)确保每个人在最需要时都能获得紧急服务。” 正如 Martin 所解释的,911后面的基础架构通常可以追溯到60年代和70年代,并将信息流限制在512字节。(这比1858年第一次跨大西洋电报传输的数据要少。) RapidSOS 基于云的应急基础设施旨在通过一套定制的 API 和监控解决方案来补充呼叫者和应急服务之间的联系。 RapidSOS提供了访问和操作紧急健康和医疗信息、车辆远程信息、多媒体、构建传感器数据等工具。RapidSOS Clearinghouse 是一个符合 NG911标准的位置信息服务器和数据仓库,可免费供公共安全机构使用,它通过 Web 和软件集成将数据路由到数百万支持 RapidSOS 的 iOS 、 Android 、可穿戴、家庭安全和汽车设备。至于 RapidSOS 的 Portal 产品,它允许远程通信人员通过与平台无关的仪表板查看呼叫的位置和丰富的情况数据。 值得注意的是, RapidSOS 在2018年夏天与谷歌合作,在美国推出了 Android 紧急定位服务( ELS ),这使得 Android 设备能够向911通信中心发送更准确的呼叫者位置。大约在同一时间,苹果增加了对 iOS 12中快速 SOS 位置数据传输的支持。 RapidSOS 声称,它是唯一与公共安全呼叫、调度和地图系统直接相连的平台,这些系统来自每一个 PSAP 和首次响应软件供应商,它直接从 Uber 、 Medic Alert 基金会、美国心脏协会以及谷歌和苹果之外的其他机构获取紧急数据。此外,该公司还表示,它将超过2.5亿美国人与3500多个地方911和急救机构联系起来,并管理着超过9000万个紧急事件,以帮助挽救成千上万的生命。 RapidSOS 的投资者、苹果( Apple )前研发高级副总裁戴夫•纳格尔( Dave Nagel )在一份声明中表示:“ RapidSOS 整合了数千个不同的公共安全系统,现在部署到这些系统中,它花了7年时间与公共安全部门合作,开发了一个强大的新平台,以改造美国的应急基础设施。” 能源影响合作伙伴 SameerReddy 补充道,“从管理极端天气的影响到更常规的日常运营,公共安全是世界各地公用事业使命的核心。我们对 RapidSOS 先进技术平台的潜力感到兴奋,该平台将改变我们的公共事业合作伙伴管理安全、安全和紧急行动的方式。” 也许有人会说, RapidSOS 的采用在一定程度上得到了美国联邦通信委员会( Federal Communications Commission )2021年授权的支持,根据该授权,该机构将要求运营商在50米以内找到呼叫者,时间至少为80%。但 RapidSOS 的白皮书无疑说服了该公司的一些合作伙伴。该白皮书引用了一项精算分析,该分析发现,在危及生命的紧急情况下每一分钟节省一分钟,死亡率就会下降2%至10%,财产损失会减少20%。 之前的 RapidSOS 投资者包括 Android 的联合创始人 Andy Rubin 的 Playground Global 、 Highland Capital Partners 、 M12(微软的风险基金)、两西格玛风险投资公司、 Forte Ventures 、 Westly Group 、 CSA 保险集团、三位前 FCC 主席,以及 AT&T 业务解决方案和 AT&T International 前首席执行官 Ralph de la Vega 。