Kinetic announced today the close of its $4.5 million seed funding round. The company builds a wearable device called REFLEX that aims to reduce workplace injuries for industrial workers. REFLEX attaches to a worker’s belt and can measure activities that put them at risk of injury, such as unsafe postures, jumping off vehicles or slips and falls. Deskless workers comprise over 80% of the global workforce and in spite of being such a large part of the economy, they have generally been left behind in the larger trend of building technology for the enterprise.
The $4.5 million in seed funding comes from an experienced group of global technology investors including Crosslink Capital and Primary Venture Partners. The funding will help expand Kinetic’s manufacturing capabilities and scale operations.
“What excites us about Kinetic is the ability to simultaneously impact both safety and operational efficiency for deskless workers. Over the past few years, I’ve watched the Kinetic team work tirelessly to find the right way to address these challenges. The company is showing impressive results with a wide range of leading employers, and we are thrilled to partner with them as they change the nature of work for this often-overlooked category,” said Brad Svrluga, General Partner at Primary Venture Partners.
Kinetic’s wearable technology reduces unsafe postures in the workplace by up to 84%. To reduce lifting injuries, the device detects unsafe postures and alerts the worker with a real-time vibration. By gamifying the process, workers compete with their colleagues to stay under a certain goal of unsafe motions per day. Managers can then view insights and analytics on the company’s dashboard. The cost of serious workplace injuries is on the rise, and in 2015 they cost US companies $58 billion. Lifting related injuries were the leading cause, mostly driven by the growth of e-commerce and the last mile delivery of goods, industries which are poised to grow aggressively.
“Every time you order an item through e-commerce, that product is manipulated at least 25 times before it reaches your home, and that’s true whether you order a ballpoint pen or a 75 pound piece of furniture,” says Kinetic cofounder and CEO Haytham Elhawary. “With increasing volume of goods shipped and faster delivery times, it’s no surprise that workplace injuries are on the rise.”
“Industrial safety hasn’t seen much innovation in years. I go to trade shows, and people are still talking about safety vests, steel cap shoes and protective eye glasses. If we’re going to eliminate injuries, we need a new approach, different technology that can prevent injuries and predict when workers are most likely to get hurt. A similar shift happened in healthcare, when we transitioned from treating disease to a focus on preventive medicine. We want to do the same for worker safety,” said co-founder and CTO Aditya Bansal.
Kinetic has already demonstrated its ability to reduce injuries at several sites. Customers include Iron Mountain and Crane Worldwide Logistics as well as large manufacturers and logistics/transportation providers.
“We want our team members to get home safely each and every day,” said Don Keim, Director of North American Safety and Health at Iron Mountain. “We’ve leveraged Kinetic’s REFLEX device to help us address at-risk postures that lead to injuries. One of the most challenging aspects of preventing these injuries involves changing the way people move while they perform their daily work. We started with a single market, and the device was so well received by our employees, that we’ve expanded to three regional implementations and three additional markets. We have experienced a reduction in acute sprain and strain injuries in those portions of the business where Kinetic has been implemented.”
“Workers are responding positively to REFLEX, and it is proven to reduce workplace injuries across multiple industries,” said Omar El-Ayat, partner at Crosslink Capital and lead investor. “We believe Kinetic can lead to healthier, happier, and more productive workers and reduce healthcare costs for employers.”
KINETIC REFLEX is a smart wearable that reduces the incidence of workplace injuries for the industrial workforce. REFLEX automatically detects high-risk postures and provides workers with real-time feedback. Workers can use REFLEX to improve their biomechanics over time, resulting in fewer injuries and improved well-being. The company was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in New York. Learn more at https://wearkinetic.com/.