For years, emergency centers for various services and municipalities were conducted in the same way, with outdated systems and reporting based mainly on voice calls to the centers. The Israeli startup Carbyne wants to change that with their system that helps with more accurate and faster reporting to emergency centers and includes several smart features. Yesterday (Wednesday), Carbyne announced the completion of a $56 million Series C funding round led by Cox Enterprises and Hanaco Ventures' growth fund. New investors also participated in the round: Valor Equity Partners and General Global Capital, former CIA chief David Petraeus, Elsted Capital Partners, FinTLV and Peter Thiel's Founders Fund.
More than just a 911 call
Carbyne develops systems that allow the emergency centers to communicate with the citizens who contact them without the need to download an application to identify the exact location of the caller, chat with him in case he is unable to speak and see what is happening on the scene in real-time via video. In this way, the Israeli company can reduce the response time during an emergency and on paper also improve the capabilities of the rescue and rescue forces that arrive in the area.
In a conversation with Geektime, Amir Elichai, CEO, and founder of Carbyne, says that the company has added several features to its platform, including improving the management of the conversation between the call center operator and citizens contacting the call center; a system has been added that allows you to watch a video at the same time as the voice call; as well as a built-in transcription system. “We also launched a completely new product used to manage distributed assets, maps, and locate in real time the location of rescue vehicles, paramedics, and equipment," added Elichai.
According to Elichai, one of the biggest challenges Carbyne had faced, was working with some of their customers, such as government organizations, who were concerned about moving from legacy on-prem infrastructure to a cloud-based infrastructure –which is how Carbyne’s platform works. The Coronavirus pandemic, Elichai explains, managed to speed up those organizations to make that change: "Today it is possible to deploy and operate an emergency center of a certain country, or an urban center, from anywhere in the world. This is a technological advantage that is very difficult to ignore in an era of natural disasters and epidemics."
In addition, the company wants to expand beyond the current market in which it works – from emergency centers of the public-government sector, into the business sector – because here too lies a serious challenge. "We are required to explain why investing in a system that was originally developed for emergency and rescue centers will optimally serve business service and support centers as well," explained Elichai. He said that the plan is to take what has been done so far in the emergency field and try to leverage it to improve the customer service offered by companies.
Saved lives in Ukraine, and a girl who was kidnapped in the U.S.
Elichai spoke about some interesting test cases from the platform. “With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Carbyne deployed its pro bono system in 22 emergency centers across Ukraine. There was an incident where a family was trapped on a high floor of a building hit by a missile, and thanks to Carbyne’s technology, the rescuers were able to understand exactly where they were (Carbyne’s system also provides height measurements from the ground) and therefore arrange an optimal rescue”.
There was also a case where a factory was bombed and it was difficult to locate the building since it was in an open space outside of residential areas, and Carbyne’s technology made it possible to locate it. In another case, a 13-year-old girl was kidnapped in the state of Ohio in the U.S. The girl, Elichai said, managed to contact her parents, but could not explain where she was, "Carbyne’s system located the location of the vehicle, the police managed to reach her, and her life was saved," he says.