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Mākusafe raises $1.5 million to grow team, scale manufacturing

West Des Moines-based MākuSafe has successfully raised $1.5 million, which will help the company continue to expand its manufacturing process and grow its team.

The raised $1.5 million comes mostly from previous investors—EMC Insurance Companies and Next Level Ventures—but also includes Colin Hurd, founder of Smart Ag, which was acquired by Raven Industries in November. The raised capital will go toward toward growing the team and additional resources for scaling company growth, Gabriel Glynn, CEO and co-founder of MākuSafe told Clay & Milk

MākuSafe’s 2020 goal is to deploy 8,000 wearable devices into companies across the country. Glynn told Clay & Milk that the company already has a chunk of its inventory sold or on Letter Of Intent (LOI). 

“We conducted pilots in 6 states over the last few months,” said Glynn. “The pilots yielded some exciting results with over $600,000 in estimated loss savings during that pilot period. In addition to the hazards identified by the system, several operational changes were made by companies based on data that came out of the pilots.”

This is the third round MākuSafe has completed. The company raised $3 million in February of last year and $1.25 million in October 2017. This round brings the total funds raised by MākuSafe to nearly $6 million.

“We started 2019 with 4 people on our team and today we have 10 so team growth was a big part of our last raise,” said Glynn. “We also used the funds to get our manufacturing operation up and running and securing a global supply chain for our technology components.”

 In October, MakuSafe was named the winner of the 2019 ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge.

Previous coverage

MākuSafe raises nearly $3 million seed round-Feb. 14, 2019

Mākusafe wins Accord Insurtech Innovation Challenge -Oct. 31, 2019

Mākusafe raises $1.5 million to grow team, scale manufacturing | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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