Kinetic, a New York-based wearables startup that provides safety wearables for industrial workers, raised $11.25 million in series A funding. The funding round was led by existing investor Crosslink Capital. The company said the money will help it grow and scale its engineering, sales, and marketing teams and support R&D.
A total of 5,250 workers died from a work-related injury in the U.S. in 2018, up 2 percent from the 2017 total of 5,147. The fatal injury rate was unchanged in 2018 at 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.
Kinetic cofounder and CEO Haytham Elhawary says during his childhood in London, his mother worked as an elderly care nurse, a job that severely strained her back, reports VentureBeat. In 2014, he partnered with cofounder Aditya Bansal to start developing a wearable device that could reduce workplace injuries.
KINETIC’s wearable device is aimed at reducing workplace injuries. The company’s Reflex is a Bluetooth-enabled, battery-powered, and fully rechargeable wearable device that fastens to belts or pant waistbands of industrial workers. It automatically detects unsafe work postures and provides users with real-time feedback to reduce injuries and create better work habits.
The technology was recently updated with proximity alert features to enable workers to practice proper social distancing and to help keep them safe during this pandemic. With this feature, workers are notified of potential risk via a gentle vibration if they are too close to one another.
“We created the KINETIC Reflex to reduce workplace injuries for the industrial workforce. Once COVID-19 spread, customers started reaching out asking if we could use the devices to help with social distancing and contact tracing,” said KINETIC co-founder and CEO, Haytham Elhawary. “That really inspired us to enhance the technology with new COVID-19 safety features, and we’re excited to deploy it to JLG and their workforce, who have been a partner.”
Tens of thousands of workers have worn Reflex devices in hundreds of facilities around the world, according to Kinetic. The company says its customers range from companies in retail, logistics, and manufacturing industries, including six of the Fortune 50.