Interview with HAAS Alert CEO Cory Hohs
Alan Soclof: First and foremost, I wanted to take a moment and congratulate you and the entire HAAS Alert team on the Growth Investment announcement. We at Volition are thrilled to be partnering with you. Jumping right into things, how would you describe HAAS’s founding story and core product?
Cory Hohs: Hi Alan. Thank you so much. We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Volition! We founded HAAS when I was almost struck and killed by an emergency vehicle a few years back while riding my bike in Chicago. As someone who had worked in the automotive space for years, I knew that this near-tragic incident would have been preventable if there was some kind of platform for emergency vehicles to communicate with other cars and road users. This led us to develop our core product Safety Cloud®. Safety Cloud is a digital alerting communication solution that enables public safety agencies and other things on the road to deliver notifications to civilian and other emergency drivers of upcoming hazards up to 30 seconds away. We’ve rapidly expanded beyond just emergency fleets to other vulnerable road users and assets on the road including towing fleets, construction fleets, municipal fleets, and even highway infrastructure. Our platform can deliver alerts to drivers from all of these active hazards through in-vehicle screens or navigation applications, which reduces the likelihood of collisions by up to 90%.
AS: What are some of the key partnerships and accomplishments that HAAS Alert has had over the past couple of years that display your success?
CH: First and foremost, our biggest accomplishment has been getting this lifesaving service into the vehicles of the responders and fleets that need this protection. We’re very proud that nationwide, we now have over 3,200 public safety agencies, roadside assistance fleets, and transportation agencies that are connected and alerting on Safety Cloud. More broadly, partnerships are a core pillar of our approach to this problem. From day one, we wanted to prioritize the safety of our first responders and critical transportation employees, and we knew that the best way to do that was to integrate our solution into their entire ecosystem. We’ve built partnerships with emergency vehicle manufacturers, telematics platforms, roadway construction equipment makers, lightbar manufacturers, and more. This makes it possible for agencies to get protected with our service without having to transition from the platforms or tools they’ve already invested in. Additionally, in 2022, we announced a transformational step towards protecting and connecting our roadways through an integration with Stellantis, which brought our alerts to over two million vehicles in North America (including 2018-and-newer Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and RAM vehicles). Drivers of these vehicles are now fully equipped to receive digital alerts directly to their dashboard when they are close to an emergency vehicle, tow truck, or roadway hazard. Just a couple months ago, we also announced our formal expansion into Europe to help create safer roads and save more lives.
AS: Why did you decide to choose Volition as your capital partner?
CH: There were several reasons that we wanted to work with Volition Capital, and I have to start by giving credit to your team; we know that our segment isn’t an easy one to enter. Investors don’t usually get excited about the idea of working in heavily regulated markets like public safety and automotive. But Volition instantly understood the opportunity in front of us and recognized the real traction we’ve achieved in this difficult marketplace. So when the team visited our office to meet our team and dig into our service, and when we visited Boston to experience Volition’s culture in-person, it became pretty clear to both parties that this would be a great fit.
AS: Last question before we let you get back to CES. Leading up to the conference, outside of the funding announcement, the HAAS team shared an exciting operational announcement. Are you able to share more about that?
CH: Absolutely. Right after the New Year, we announced that at CES we’re debuting the first-ever cross-brand car-to-car communication capability between Volkswagen and Stellantis, powered by HAAS Alert’s Safety Cloud platform. This means that a Volkswagen vehicle can send a hazard alert directly to the dashboard of a Stellantis car without needing a navigation application. This is an exciting expansion of our platform because it’s bringing the hazard alerting capability that we’ve enabled for responders to actual consumers. It’s a major breakthrough in connected vehicles and a meaningful step towards a much safer future on our roadways.
AS: Thank you for the time Cory, and I look forward to connecting again soon!
CH: Thank you Alan. Talk soon.
-The Volition Press