Israeli startup Carbyne, which develops a cloud-based platform that offers citizens a direct channel to emergency services, closed a $25 million Series B round. The investment was led by Hanacao Ventures and ELSTED Capital Partners, with participation from GMI Ventures, former CIA Director David Petraeus, and existing investors - including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and FinTLV. Reports estimate the company’s valuation at over $100 million post money.

Turning crisis into opportunity

Carbyne’s platform enables emergency related calls to transfer from regular phone to video and helps 911 operators provide initial telemedicine treatment. Instead of needing to download a dedicated app for this service, Carbyne runs the platform through the cloud. If an emergency call escalates or requires extra info, the 911 operator just texts a link that once approved by the caller, opens access to the phone’s mic and camera. This allows the operator to provide first responders deeper insight into the ongoing event, including audio, video, and text possibilities.

While chatting with Geektime, CEO Amir Elichai said that the COVID crisis definitely increased demand for the company’s product: “We received inquiries from numerous emergency services, which were looking for innovative channels to communicate with citizens. This was a direct need due to the significant increase of both crime and Coronavirus related 911 calls.”

Elichai adds that in addition to the platform’s core purpose, the company also launched a triage questionnaire, with which 911 operators can visually map out user answers and provide first responders with immediate and critical data.

According to Elichai, the last round was originally planned for early 2020, setting goals at $15 million. However, with the outbreak of the global pandemic and general uncertainty looming over, the round was postponed: “In retrospect it was a smart decision, as the technology was successfully proven through combat over the last year. The company emerged out of the recent period experiencing 400% in growth rate, helping upgrade the funding round.

Former Head of the CIA General David Petraeus sounded excited about Carbyne’s emergency communication revolution “The ability to create transparent emergency communications between citizens, emergency call centers, first responders, and states will create a mastery of emergency management, and, most importantly, to lives saved every year. Carbyne’s vision has the potential to change the way we all communicate in the moments that matter most.”

Carbyne - founded in 2015 by Elichai, Alex Davidof, and Yoni Yatsun - has raised $53 million to date. The company intends on establishing a footprint in all 50 states by 2023, alongside global operations - with the goal to provide service to 1.5 billion people. “Times have changed and so should the technology that is serving our citizens. In a modern age, facing unprecedented challenges, legacy solutions are failing our community when they need us most. Furthermore, it is no longer what the public expects or accepts,” added Elichai.