(Image source: MākuSafe promotional video at homepage.)
MākuSafe a Des Moines-based InsurTech start-up and maker of a wearable workplace safety device and software platform, announced that it has closed a nearly $3 million seed round.The round brings the total funds raised by MākuSafe to nearly $4.5 million. Funding has come from a number of Iowa-based capital groups, including EMC Insurance Companies, Next Level Ventures, and The Best of the Midwest. MākuSafe plans to use the capital to hire key personnel and to scale the manufacturing of the company’s proprietary technology.
MākuSafe characterizes its offering as a sophisticated system for gathering real-time environmental and human motion data to identify workplace risk. The MākuSmart cloud platform uses machine learning to process millions of data points gathered by wearable armband devices invented by the company.
“Our agents and policyholders count on EMC to provide insurance products and, at the same time, help policyholders mitigate and manage their risks,” comments Jason W. Gross, VP of Strategy & Business Transformation, EMC Insurance Companies. “That’s why we are investing in and partnering with companies like MākuSafe that are leveraging new technology and analytics to make our workplaces and workers even safer.”
Mitigating Workplace Risks and Reducing Workers’ Comp Claims
Each day, more than 1,000 employees worldwide lose their life to a workplace accident. In the United States alone, well over $1 Billion is paid out each week in worker’s compensation claims. With the data gathered from the wearable devices, MākuSafe customers can gain deeper insights into their workforce and operations, resulting in mitigating workplace risks and reducing workers’ compensation claims.
“For several years we’ve been conducting tests in facilities around Central Iowa and using the results of those tests to fine-tune our product,” says MākuSafe CEO and co-founder Gabriel Glynn. “We’re truly excited about the progress we’ve made and are looking forward to getting through the manufacturing process so we can begin to provide product to awaiting customers.”
Scott Hoekman, Principal, Next Level Ventures, adds that his company was excited to take part in investment with MākuSafe. “This intriguing combination of hardware, software, worker safety, and insurance really resonates with Iowa’s growing startup ecosystem as well as two of Iowa’s core industries—manufacturing and insurance,” he said. “And with this financing we are eager to see MākuSafe accelerate its growth and bolster its innovative solution.”
In fall of 2018, MākuSafe was selected to pitch at The Best of the Midwest, an angel capital event in Des Moines. Accredited investors from around the Midwest pooled money together and collectively picked which participating startups would receive investment. MākuSafe was selected for investment from the group.
“Plains Angels and the Angel Capital Association-The Best of the Midwest group, is proud to invest in MākuSafe,” comments Mike Colwell, Co-Manager, Plains Angels. “They not only have a great business outlook but their product will save lives and limit accidents.”
Growing and Maturing Startup
“Access to Angel and Venture Capital is a vital part of a healthy startup ecosystem, especially for startups tackling large-scale problems that require extensive engineering,” adds Glynn. “We are delighted to have found financial support from investors here in Central Iowa and around the Midwest. Raising nearly $4.5 million dollars is no small task, but in doing so we can serve as yet another example of a growing and maturing startup ecosystem in the Heartland.”