Detroit-based Guardhat, an Internet of Things (IoT) industrial safety technology developer that creates wearables, infrastructure, and software platforms to provide safer and more productive work environments, Thursday announced it has closed a $20-million Series A funding round.
The funding was led by RTP Ventures and joined by 3M Ventures, Caterpillar Venture Capital, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, SVB, and DVP, and will allow the company to focus on expediting growth and tech development while expanding its international reach.
“We launched Guardhat with the mission of revolutionizing the industry standard for workforce safety and connectivity,” says 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.”
Founded in 2014, Guardhat holds eight patents and has raised a total of $24 million in funding to date. It has employees in Detroit and satellite offices in Colorado, Chicago, India, and France.
Jim Hawkins, MineStar solutions director for Caterpillar, says 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,” he says.
Guardhat combines intelligent software with wearable technology to offer a system that monitors a user’s safety, health, and work environment. Guardhat’s smart hardhat marked the first fundamental upgrade to hard hats 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,” says 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. (Combining) market, product, and team – this wasn’t a hard investment decision to make.”
Guardhat moved its executive management and software development team from Southfield to Detroit in August and is located at 1520 Woodward Ave. An estimated 150 million industrial workers wear hardhats every day.