New York-based startup RapidSOS has raised a $30 million series B round to expand its data service for 911 calls. RapidSOS works by pulling data from multiple sources including IoT connected devices to provide more information to first responders as they are responding to emergency calls.
This funding round brings the total investment behind RapidSOS’ emergency technology platform to $65M – a significant investment in a public safety startup. The round was led by Playground Global, a venture fund that invests in tech hardware. According to TechCrunch, other investors in the company include – Highland Capital Partners, M12 (Microsoft’s Venture Fund), Two Sigma Ventures, Forte Ventures, The Westly Group, and CSAA IG.
RapidSOS offers several data gathering services to 911 dispatch centers. The most popular is RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse, which integrates with existing 911 systems to provide additional information about calls including location data and in some cases information from IoT connected devices, rideshare services, and GPS. Organizations can also partner with RapidSOS to share information with the service through an API. According to the company, the API can support information from things like smart home devices, wearables, or telematics systems. With this information, first responders can get vital health statistics, information about homes they are about to approach, or environmental factors that could impact response plans.
Through a combination of new user adoption and partnerships, RapidSOS has grown to 250 million users.
As CivSource has previously reported, several states are working on updating to NENA Next Generation 911 calling systems, but even that upgrade just means that call centers will be able to take voice and data communications. Services like RapidSOS can bolt on to legacy systems and provide mission critical information that is not being captured by 911 systems that are only capable of taking voice calls or text messages.