The 911 system is outdated. It was developed in the 1960s and hasn’t dramatically changed since. Today over 70% of 911 calls come from mobile devices, but approximately 60% of those calls cannot be accurately located. A 2013 study cited by the FCC in 2014 estimated that over 10,000 lives could be saved annually if mobile calls had better location data.
The underlying platform has been in development for two years during which RapidSOS spent months in dispatch centers.RapidSOS is looking to tackle this problem with a mobile-first service. Founded in 2013 by Michael Martin (Harvard Business School ’15) and Nick Horelik (MIT PhD Nuclear Engineering ’15) — each of whom had personal experiences around 911 failure — the company has recently closed a $5 million Series A round of financing, led by Highland Capital Partners (HCP). As part of the deal, Dan Nova, Partner at HCP, will be joining the RapidSOS’ board.
“Technology has dramatically changed our lives over the last 50 years, except for when we need it most,” said RapidSOS Founder and CEO Michael Martin. “We are very happy to announce that we are partnering with the 911 community and some of the world’s most successful technologists and investors to bringing the 911 system to the 21st century.”
The company’s first product, One-Touch-911, will be launched later this year to serve as a universal data pipeline from any connected device to first responders. The system interfaces seamlessly with dispatch centers in over 135 countries, transmitting unprecedented data from a user’s phone directly to dispatchers in an emergency.
RapidSOS is designed as a universal pipeline for data into any 3-digit emergency number globally.The underlying platform has been in development for two years during which RapidSOS spent months in dispatch centers, consulting with experts and learning how the current system works. The result, according to RapidSOS, is a universal pipeline for data into any 3-digit emergency number globally.
The company will allow device makers to provide instant access to emergency services, help insurance companies improve response times (hence reduce claims and support members), provide in-app safety & security for the shared economy, allow big companies to provide universal safety for their employees, allow the home security market to extend their reach out of the home, and help universities address the increasing challenges of sexual assault and gun violence. On the other hand, in the consumer market RapidSOS offers a blanket of safety & security for the entire family.