IoT startup Guardhat raises $20 million in Series A to bring life saving technology to global industrial workforce
Guardhat, the world’s leading Internet of Things (IoT) industrial safety technology developer specialized in developing wearables, infrastructure and software platforms to provide a safer and more productive work environment, has secured a $20 million ‘Series A’ funding to accelerate growth and tech development, while expanding its international reach. The latest round was led by RTP Ventures with participation from 3M Ventures, Caterpillar Venture Capital, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, SVB and DVP.
Founded in 2014 by Saikat Dey, the Detroit-based Guardhat is a multi-product, feature-packed intelligent safety system that integrates cutting edge wearable technology and advanced proprietary software. It is equipped to detect, alert and help prevent hazardous industrial work-related incidents. It is designed to collect and analyze data to support and improve industrial worker safety programs. The company holds eight patents on Connected Worker, Real Time Location Systems and Wearable Solutions. The company has raised a total of $24 million in funding, to date, and has employees worldwide including its headquarters in Detroit, Michigan and satellite offices in Boulder, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; Bangalore, India; and Paris, France.
“We launched Guardhat with the mission of revolutionizing the industry standard for workforce safety and connectivity,” said Saikat Dey, CEO of Guardhat. “This elite group of investors brings a wealth of experience that allows us to focus on developing technology to better protect the millions of industrial workers who are the backbone of today’s global infrastructure.”
“Whether we are developing our own products or building relationships with other best-in-class providers like GuardHat, Caterpillar is always on the lookout for new ways to help our customers improve the safety of their operations,” said Jim Hawkins, Caterpillar’s MineStar Solutions Director. “The solutions being developed by GuardHat have the potential to prevent work-related incidents in the hazardous conditions in which many of our customers work. Our investment in these solutions aligns with our long tradition of promoting safe work environments both for our employees and for our customers.”
Guardhat combines intelligent proprietary software with modern wearable technology to offer an all-encompassing safety system that actively monitors a user’s safety, health and work environment. Guardhat’s smart hardhat marked the first fundamental upgrade to this essential piece of equipment since hat construction switched from steel to plastic safety helmets in the early 1940s.
“Over the past decade, many people have heard about IoT and the connected future this technology has in store for both consumers and businesses. Unfortunately, real business IoT applications have been underwhelming, often solving problems that don’t need solving or flashy demos,” said Kirill Sheynkman, Senior Managing Director at RTP Ventures. “Guardhat is different — a real application for a big market, built with modern technologies and led by a team that knows a thing or two about their customers and their problems. Market, product, team — this wasn’t a hard investment decision to make.”
“SVB strives to support innovative companies of all stages solving complex problems,” said Dennis Grunt, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank in Chicago. “Guardhat’s disruptive industrial safety technology reduces human error and saves lives. We’re excited to provide this financing to support the company’s international growth.”
SVB is a subsidiary of SVB Financial Group and has helped to fund more than 30,000 technology startups across the globe. RTP Ventures invests in the innovative product and technology sector and operates as a subsidiary of ruNet Holdings Limited.
“GuardHat recognized the opportunity to transform worker safety in industrial settings through technology. We are proud to invest in a company that is aiding productivity and helping to save lives the world over. It is yet another example of an industry-changing idea emerging from a city outside of the coastal tech hubs,” said J.D. Vance, Managing Partner, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.
Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund is backed by iconic entrepreneurs and executives, and invests in early stage companies located outside of Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston.
In August 2018, Guardhat moved its entire executive management and software development team to Detroit where they joined hundreds of businesses operating in the city’s growing fintech, mobility, marketing and tech-development ecosystem.
“As an investment company focused on breaking-edge technologies, we could not be more excited to partner with a team that brings true value to worker safety,” said Jake Cohen, Partner at DVP, a Detroit-based investment company. “We were excited when they joined us in Detroit, and now look forward to strengthening our partnership and watching Guardhat expand, both at home and abroad.”
An estimated 150 million industrial workers wear a hard hat to the work site every day. Guardhat is dedicated to providing safety and productivity-enhancing elements to help these millions of workers get the job done more efficiently. This newest round of financing has helped to position Guardhat as one of the fastest-growing IoT safety providers in the world.