Highland Capital Partners leads $16 mln funding for RapidSOS

Highland Capital Partners led $16 million in funding for RapidSOS, an emergency technology company. Microsoft Ventures and CSAA Insurance Group also participated.

Press release
RapidSOS, an advanced emergency technology company, today announced an additional $16 million in funding led by Highland Capital Partners with participation from Microsoft Ventures and CSAA Insurance Group. Microsoft Ventures and CSAA Insurance Group’s funding accelerates the work of nearly every major public safety company, technology companies powering millions of devices, and three former FCC chairmen in working with RapidSOS to upgrade America’s public safety infrastructure.

“It’s been a privilege working with the public safety community to develop this technology and see the impact it can have on emergency outcomes,” said Michael Martin, CEO of RapidSOS. “9-1-1 telecommunicators manage over 200 million emergencies a year with little more than a voice connection. This funding will allow us to send life-saving data directly into the hands of first responders nationwide.”

Founded in 2013, RapidSOS has raised over $30 million and spent the past five years working in partnership with the public safety community to develop an advanced Emergency Platform to link Internet of Things (IoT) devices directly to 9-1-1 and first responders in an emergency. Data from connected devices – such as real-time health data from wearables, telematics from connected cars, smoke density from smart homes, precise location from mobile devices, etc. – can provide unprecedented situational awareness for first responders, speeding response and saving lives.

“We’re excited to back RapidSOS as they work to transform emergency response globally,” said Leo de Luna, managing director at Microsoft Ventures. “RapidSOS’ NG911 Clearinghouse provides life-saving data from any connected device to 9-1-1 and first responders.”

Sanjiv Parikh, managing partner of corporate venture capital for CSAA Insurance Group said, “Investing in RapidSOS reflects our commitment to safety and security by enabling people to receive faster emergency response when they need it.”

The additional funding follows an exciting year for RapidSOS, with public safety agencies across the country integrating with the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse, industry experts joining the team and Advisory Board, and dozens of new partnerships with public safety vendors and IoT companies.

“Over the past fifty years we have seen unprecedented technology advancements, except when it comes to our nation’s 9-1-1 system,” said Dan Nova, Partner at Highland Capital Partners and RapidSOS Board Member. “RapidSOS is bridging the gap between IoT and public safety – enabling a life-saving data link that has never been possible before.”

“Internet of Things devices have created enormous potential for keeping people safer and better connected to first responders in emergencies. The challenge is communicating valuable data between connected devices and antiquated 9-1-1 public infrastructure,” said Dave Nagel, former CTO of AT&T and SVP at Apple and current partner at Forté Ventures, which also invested in the round. “RapidSOS provides that direct connection between IoT devices and 9-1-1, making people around the world safer through modern technology.”

About RapidSOS 
Partnering with Internet of Things companies and the public safety community, RapidSOS provides a rich data link to public safety – sending lifesaving data to aid in emergency response. By analyzing data around when and where emergencies are occurring, RapidSOS is developing technology to predict and preempt emergencies and dynamically warn people in harm’s way – a complete paradigm shift from emergency response to emergency prediction and preemption.

About CSAA Insurance Group
CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer, offers automobile, homeowners and other personal lines of insurance to AAA members through AAA clubs in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Founded in 1914, the company has been rated “A” or better by A.M. Best for 90 years, and is one of the top personal lines property casualty insurance groups in the United States, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The company has been repeatedly named one of the 50 most community-minded companies in America by Points of Light.

About Highland Capital Partners 
Founded in 1987, Highland Capital Partners is an early stage venture capital firm focused on putting the entrepreneur first. With offices in Cambridge and Palo Alto, Highland has raised over $3B in committed capital and invested in more than 270 companies, resulting in category-defining businesses across consumer and enterprise technology. Investments include companies such as 2U, Catalant, Harry’s, Malwarebytes, nuTonomy, Qihoo 360, Rent the Runway, Scopely, SmartThings, ThredUP, and Turbonomic.

About Microsoft Ventures 
Microsoft Ventures is the corporate venture arm of Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft), the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world. Microsoft Ventures partners with visionary entrepreneurs looking to drive digital transformation. As part of its promise to portfolio companies, Microsoft Ventures offers unrivaled access to go-to-market resources and strategic relationships globally. Microsoft Ventures currently operates in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Tel Aviv. Learn more here.