harbor Raises $5 Million Seed Financing

harbor, a company reimagining emergency readiness, is bringing “household wellness” to American families by helping people increase their safety and preparedness in the face of the unexpected. The company’s forthcoming app and readiness platform will provide a simple, relatable way to assess and develop preparedness and gain peace-of-mind. By curating expert advice and personalizing, automating, and gamifying key aspects of home safety, harbor aims to make getting ready for the unexpected a fun and easy part of everyday habits.

harbor launches at a time when Americans are experiencing the acute impacts of climate change and other disruptions, including an increased frequency and severity of disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, storms and drought. In 2019 alone, the U.S. experienced an historic 14 “billion-dollar” climate events. Between 2014 and 2019, 97 percent of Americans were affected by some kind of natural disaster, yet only 2 percent were prepared for these types of events. Beyond wildfires and hurricanes, every second in the U.S. there is a house fire, and 60% of home fire deaths involve missing or malfunctioning smoke detectors. The pandemic’s impact on our lives has only reinforced how ill-prepared Americans are.

That’s why harbor is launching a platform that guides and automates the preparedness process for you, combining planning with vital information that will enable families to stay calm and safe before, during, and after any disruption. harbor wants to help families cultivate “household wellness”: the concept of forming everyday habits to keep your home and family safe.

harbor has scanned hundreds of millions of data points from federal agencies like NOAA, FEMA, and USGS as well as land maps and building codes to pinpoint individual household risk. harbor then provides steps people can take on a regular basis to increase their preparedness, and stay informed with real-time updates and advice when disasters hit.

Dan Kessler, a former Headspace executive, was appointed as CEO in January. Kessler brings over 15 years of experience in consumer internet technologies and subscription businesses to launch and scale harbor. He served as a VP of global business development at Headspace, where he focused on long-term business growth across the brand’s consumer, enterprise and healthcare departments. Before that, he served as SVP of Operations and Strategy at Hallmark, where he drove new strategic initiatives for the company’s digital greetings and SVOD service.

“I am passionate about the benefits of forming habits that improve everyday life. But even as a huge industry is growing around personal health and wellness, preparing for emergency events is still considered extreme,” said Kessler. “The health and safety of your household isn’t extreme, and you shouldn’t have to be ex-military to be prepared: the unexpected is inevitable and many risks are easily mitigated with the right information. It’s incredibly rewarding to reimagine what readiness looks like, and to build something that will help make preparing for unexpected events simple, and managing the hard parts of life a little bit easier.”

Dan is joined by Eduardo Fonseca as Chief Technology Officer. Eduardo is an entrepreneur and startup advisor. He was most recently the CTO of GoodRx where he grew the engineering team from eight to close to 100 engineers, led the diligence and integration for three acquisitions, and oversaw complete architectural revamp spanning mobile, backend and frontend. Eduardo has 25+ years of experience in software engineering and 15+ years of leadership experience.

The company is also announcing a team of advisors made up of notable experts in climate change, emergency management, and national security. The advisory council includes:

  • Alice Hill, current senior fellow for climate change policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and former senior director for resilience policy on President Obama’s National Security Council
  • Juliette Kayyem, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and CNN national security analyst who served as Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security
  • Brock Long, Executive Chairman of Hagerty Consulting and a Former Administrator of FEMA from 2017-2019, where he led the nation through 220 declared disasters and wildfires
  • DeeDee Bennett, assistant professor at SUNY-Albany in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity
  • Linda Mansollilo, a medical officer in the Air Force Reserve, biotech strategist, founder of LadyBugOut, and instructor for the Defense Institute of Medical Operations (DIMO)
  • Chris Harris, expert in disaster and casualty risk management, former CEO of Montpelier Re Holdings, and former Chairman of Blue Capital Reinsurance.

“Climate change is already having a serious impact on our population, including making natural disasters more frequent and severe. We must be resilient in the face of its consequences, both on a macroscale and in our everyday lives,” said Hill. “The team at harbor is doing important and necessary work to help people take action, and it’s exciting to work with their team to bring a new meaning to the idea of readiness.”

harbor has been incubated by 25madison, a venture studio that has seeded the development of the platform.

“Disaster preparedness and response is a top priority in policy making and macroeconomics, but somehow has been left on the fringes in our personal lives,” said Matt Fremont-Smith, co-founder at 25madison. “We’ve seen how being prepared can reduce stress, bring peace of mind, and help people and companies get back on their feet faster – whether it’s hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, or pandemics. Making preparedness for the unexpected something people can easily integrate into their daily behavior is a great idea, and we are excited that harbor’s team of disruptive thinkers and talented engineers are bringing it to life.”

Follow harbor’s journey and join our early access program at helloharbor.com

About harbor

harbor is a platform for helping people, families and communities form everyday habits so they can be more ready and resilient in the face of disruptions. Learn more at helloharbor.com

About 25madison

25madison is an NYC-based venture studio, incubating companies from the ground up and investing in early-stage companies. www.25madison.com.