GuardHat Raises $20 Million Series A
Dey and co-founder Anupam Sengupta, who serves as the company’s chief technical officer, launched GuardHat to tackle an issue—“safety and managing the consequences of accidents”—they encountered when working as executives for Severstal, a multinational steel and mining corporation.
“When we started [GuardHat] in 2014, we had a problem in need of a solution,” Sengupta says.
At Severstal, they had searched a long time to find technical solutions to worker safety, but kept running into a problem: factories aren’t known for prioritizing great Internet access. In some ways, Dey says, that’s by design. “You don’t want people operating equipment while they’re texting, or taking pictures of the production line,” he explains. “The basic proliferation of technology is not happening on the plant floor the way it is on the consumer side. Heavy manufacturing, mining—those sectors are being left behind from a technological perspective.”
GuardHat, which says it holds eight patents on “connected worker, real-time location systems, and wearable solutions,” combines proprietary software with an Internet-enabled hardhat to help remotely track what workers are looking at, and try to predict accidents and intervene in dangerous situations in real time, Dey says. Most manufacturing operations have a team in charge of worker safety, he adds, and those are the employees that would monitor the GuardHat system.
The company’s technology “helps address where a person is within a 3D space and shows the environment around them with context and biometrics,” Dey says. “For example, I can offer help remotely by looking through the [hardhat’s] camera and saying, ‘Turn that knob to the left.’ It runs analytics and gives a holistic view, and that information can be the difference between life and death.”