West Des Moines-based MākuSafe has successfully closed a $4 million round which the company will use to grow its team and scale as it begins to deploy its wearable safety technology.
More than 3/4 of the round came from previous investors including EMC Insurance Companies and Next Level Ventures. The $4 million round puts MākuSafe over $10 million in total capital raised since the company founded in 2016.
“Our plan for this first year is to get a little bit of product into a lot of companies,” said Gabriel Glynn, CEO of MākuSafe. “Maybe get 100 devices into 70 or 80 companies across the country. If we can provide a really good experience to a lot of different companies and get just a handful of them to scale with us, we’re going to be in really good shape.”
The company now employs 17 people with plans to hire more throughout the year.
“We hired five people just in June alone. By the end of August, we’ll be over 20 people,” said Glynn.
Launching a product during a pandemic
The company first launched its wearable armband device and SaaS platform in March after completing years of testing and certification.
“It was really unfortunate timing,” said Glynn. “We literally got our product to our warehouse here in West Des Moines on the day that things started shutting down. Almost everything we were planning to do got put on delay as companies tried to grapple with letting vendors in and starting new projects.”
Despite launching its product in March, MākuSafe didn’t begin deploying its platform until about a month ago, Glynn told Clay & Milk.
“Since then, it’s been a positive experience,” said Glynn. “The first deployment that we did since the start of COVID has already been successful. It’s only been live for about a month but the company has reached out to us about scaling the product to a larger worker population and to cover another location for them.”
In May, MākuSafe added two new features to its platform — contact tracing reports and worker density mapping —to help companies begin to get their workforce back to work safely.
“Contact tracing wasn’t even in our vernacular 90 days ago,” said Glynn. “We’ve built a pretty robust piece of technology and realized that with the data we were already gathering we can tell workers are at any given time. Pretty quickly we were able to create a couple of features without having to add new hardware or dramatically change anything in our platform.”
MākuSafe raises $1.5 million to grow team, scale manufacturing -Jan. 7, 2020
Industrial startups see growth through Maple Ventures -July 10, 2019