Avanta Ventures’ portfolio company, RapidSOS, securely links life-saving data from over 500 million connected devices, apps and sensors directly to safety agents, 911 and first responders globally. Their goal is to transform public safety.
We recently sat down with Michael Martin, RapidSOS’ co-founder and CEO, to ask him about his company’s recent accomplishments, how he has built a culture of inclusivity and his advice for aspiring founders.
Avanta Ventures (AV): Michael, what problem is RapidSOS working to solve?
Michael Martin (MM): We’re taking the antiquated analog-based infrastructure behind emergency response and moving it into the digital era. Our mission is to save lives by supporting first responders with life-saving data that enhances situational awareness and reduces response times.
AV: Looking back at the past year, what business accomplishment are you most proud of?
MM: The chance to partner with hundreds of thousands of first responders who use our platform daily is the most amazing thing. Over this past year, our platform was used in over 165+ million emergencies – providing critical data that helped police officers in Indiana to pull a man from a burning vehicle, helped paramedics save a newborn in Kansas and helped police save a woman kidnapped in Utah – in total thousands of examples of lives saved this year alone.
Core to this work has been our partner model, where we’ve been fortunate to work with foundational partners like Apple,Google, and every major public safety software vendor to integrate this technology across the emergency response process. We also recently partnered with Grubhub to provide Grubhub delivery partners the ability to share dynamic location data as well as caller ID (name, phone number) directly to 911 responders when an emergency call is placed via the Grubhub for Drivers App.
AV: What are you most excited about this coming year?
MM: For nearly a decade and $250M+ in investment, we’ve worked to build out this platform connecting 500M+ devices to 15,000+ responder agencies. It’s exciting to see that work largely complete.
We’re now focused on partnering with public safety to connect every device to that platform – ensuring that all of our devices work harmoniously with first responders to save our lives when it matters most.
AV: That’s great. And how can prospective partners contact you?
MM: Prospective partners can reach us here.
AV: At the early stage of a company, building an inclusive culture is essential. What are three things you’ve done at RapidSOS to foster an inclusive culture?
MM: Even as we’ve scaled to over 200 team members across the globe, we set aside an hour every other week for our All-Hands meeting. We have a new team member emcee so they can introduce themselves to the company and we hear from various leaders and team members about important updates. It gives us a chance to celebrate our wins and stay informed on what’s coming next.
Our kudos Slack channel is one of the most active at RapidSOS. These are most often cross-team shoutouts recognizing how folks have gone above and beyond to deliver results for our customers and teammates.
Learning is essential to our inclusive culture. We set time aside monthly for cross-team training and workshops that allow team members to learn from and with one another. This culminates in our annual Day of Learning, where the whole company comes together in person for speakers, breakout sessions, and team building.
AV: What advice would you give aspiring founders based on your journey to date?
MM: There are a lot of big challenges left out there – I hope that aspiring founders will pour themselves into solving one of them!
AV: Let’s end with something fun. What is your favorite city to visit and why?
MM: I love visiting my hometown in rural Indiana. It is my roots and home to the community of people that made me who I am, and I’m grateful for everything that the community has done to help me along the way.
Thanks to Michael for speaking with us; we are excited to see how RapidSOS’ future unfolds.
RapidSOS is an intelligent safety platform that securely links life-saving data from 500M+ connected devices, apps, and sensors from 90+ global technology companies to over 450,000 first responders across 15,000 agencies nationwide.
About Avanta Ventures
Avanta Ventures is the venture capital arm of CSAA Insurance Group. We aim to reimagine the future of insurance and drive future growth for CSAA IG through our engagement and investment in ground-breaking startups and entrepreneurs.