Emergency Response Data Provider RapidSOS Raises $16M

The round included participation from Microsoft Ventures.

RapidSOS, a startup known for linking traffic accident, personal health and other on-location data to emergency responders, has raised $16 million in investment funding.

The round — which RapidSOS didn't label a Series B, but is its second major funding round — was led by Highland Capital Partners and included participation from Microsoft Ventures and CSAA Insurance Group.

“911 telecommunicators manage over 200 million emergencies a year with little more than a voice connection,” said RapidSOS CEO Michael Martin in a press release. “This funding will allow us to send life-saving data directly into the hands of first responders nationwide.”

RapidSOS works with Internet of Things (IoT) companies, like those that produce health data-generating “wearables,” as well as home security cameras, connected car devices and more, to pump information into a clearinghouse
. Public safety and emergency response officials can then connect to the clearinghouse, giving them information they otherwise wouldn’t have as they deal with incidents.

There are a lot of ways such information could help those responders. RapidSOS can give them a precise location of a cellphone to help them find a caller more quickly, or it could deliver health information for an unresponsive person being driven to a hospital.

But they don't charge public safety and emergency responders for that information. Rather, their paying customers are Internet of Things vendors and insurance companies that want their data shared in the way RapidSOS does it.

The company also has a hand in predictive analytics, and is working on creating a model for anticipating when and where traffic accidents will happen — an emerging niche in transportation technology that multiple
companies are already working toward.

“Internet of Things devices have created enormous potential for keeping people safer and better connected to first responders in emergencies,” said David Nagel, partner at Forté Ventures, which also participated in the round. “The challenge is communicating valuable data between connected devices and antiquated 911 public infrastructure. RapidSOS provides that direct connection between IoT devices and 911, making people around the world safer through modern technology.”

The funding round brings RapidSOS up to a total of $30 million in investment since the company was founded in 2013.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.