Hangar raises $15M from Bloomberg and Kresge to launch high-growth technology companies tackling problems government can’t solve alone
With no shortage of large-scale, global challenges today — from the cost of higher education to effective healthcare for under-served patients, to predicting where wildfires will emerge, to tracking the spread of Covid-19 — one tech startup believes there is an opportunity to help policymakers address these issues while also creating sustainable businesses that can scale.
Wildfires scorched over 8.7 million acres in the U.S. and were some of the world’s costliest natural disasters in 2018. What if first responders were given the information needed, in real-time, to employ their resources more effectively and manage fires more efficiently than ever before?
Enter Hangar, a New York City-based tech startup that helps tackle problems governments cannot solve alone. Led by managing partner Josh Mendelsohn — an alum of Google, Sequoia Capital, the Department of Treasury and the Department of Defense — is accelerating just as the need for public-private partnerships is growing.
Today, Hangar announced it has raised $15 million for an uncapped fund that launches high-growth technology companies tackling problems governments cannot solve alone. Limited partners in the fund include the Kresge Foundation endowment and Michael Bloomberg, the majority owner of Bloomberg LP.
The funding will enable Hangar to continue its ground-breaking work building and investing in new companies. Hangar has built four successful companies since 2018 and expects that the investment will enable it to launch an additional three companies annually.
“We’re at an unprecedented moment for our country, and our companies are addressing several significant challenges all at once, from combatting Covid-19 to rebuilding our economy, to reducing the cost of higher education, to addressing disparate outcomes in healthcare,” said Josh Mendelsohn, Managing Partner at Hangar. “At Hangar, we believe that new ideas and new technology can help address these challenges, while also presenting opportunities to build successful, high-growth businesses. We’re thrilled to have the support of our investors, as we accelerate our work to launch new companies to meet this critical moment.”
A spokesman for Michael Bloomberg said, “We’re pleased to support Hangar’s work to bring technology and innovation to the public sector. The Hangar team has proven expertise in data, analytics, and software that, when applied to public sector problems, will pay dividends for years to come.”
Hangar’s in-house team combines experts with decades of technology, business, policy, and political experience. Working with and at the edge of government, Hangar builds sustainable and highly-scalable new businesses around opportunities to help solve some of society’s most pressing and complex challenges. Among Hangar’s focus areas is the $2 trillion government IT market in the U.S., currently dominated by traditional contractors.
“Hangar has the right model and the right team for the right moment. There are so many areas–from healthcare to disaster planning–that are ripe for innovation and new technologies that help to improve the lives and well-being of people and help solve real problems,” said Brian O’Kelley, who participated in the funding round. “With a veteran team that blends deep Silicon Valley and policy experience, Hangar is already making an impact and I’m proud to be supporting their next phase.”
“Truly tough problems require new thinking and creative solutions,” said Ron Conway, an adviser to Hangar and mentor to its leadership team. “Hangar’s model is unique: identifying complex challenges and building new companies from the ground up to help solve them. With an impressive leadership team guiding the firm, we are poised to see a wave of innovation from their portfolio companies that are long overdue.”
Over the last year and a half, Hangar launched its first four portfolio companies:
• Camber: Combines mobility data and analytics to improve operations across all levels of government, empower informed decision-making, and create equitable communities. Camber is currently the authoritative provider of mobility data insights to public health researchers, epidemiologists, and state governments tackling COVID-19.
• Cornea: Leverages machine learning to provide critical, real-time insights that inform disaster planning and response and recovery at the state, federal, and international levels.
• Outcome: Delivers a higher education financing platform that reduces the burden of student debt and aligns the interests of individual students, colleges, and universities to promote successful and sustainable educational outcomes.
• Roster: Pairs specialized technology systems with dedicated community health workers to deliver effective and accessible value-based health care.