Two Bath school friends secure £1m for workplace wearable device - Business Leader News

Two Bath school friends secure £1m for workplace wearable device

Harry Kimberley-Bowen and Ronan Finnegan, Co-founders of spacebands

Two school friends from Bath have raised more than £1m in investments and grant funding for their workplace wearable, spacebands, far exceeding their seed round target of £600,000.

spaceband’s backers include a leading UK institutional investor, Evergreen Mountain Equity Partners, 25 angel investors and Innovate UK, which provided a £250,000 Future Economy Fund grant.

The company’s multi-sensor wearable monitors external environmental hazards, anticipates potential accidents and gives real-time data on stress in hazardous environments.

“We track health indicators such as heart rate, prompt users to take action on wellbeing and alert them to numerous hazards such as dangerously loud noises or close machine proximity i.e. if there’s a forklift behind them,” says Ronan Finnegan, Co-Founder, spacebands.

Data collected can inform a decision-making framework to better monitor workplace risks and well-being to create a safer working environment.

“If there’s 100 alerts for loud noises in a week, the employer can take action by investing in better ear defenders,” says Ronan.

spacebands’ first wrist-worn device, launched in May 2020, helped employees stay safe during the pandemic by storing contact tracing data and vibrating when users were less than 2m apart. The product was sold to more than 1000 businesses worldwide including the likes of Amazon, Panasonic, ITV and Travis Perkins.

“Our offering has evolved dramatically since then,” says Harry Kimberley-Bowen, Co-Founder, spacebands. “We’re now using the investments to grow our team, add more features and ultimately change the future of workplace safety, well-being and insurance.”

spacebands’ investment readiness journey has been supported by Innovate UK EDGE Finance Specialist, Ed Tellwright, who helped the company to develop a clear, compelling and credible investment proposition.

“Ed gave us some great feedback about our pitch and helped us avoid some key mistakes that we would have almost certainly made in front of investors,” says Ronan.

spaceband’s growth journey has also been supported by Innovate UK EDGE Design Thinking Specialist, Sarah Dickins, who helped the company pivot from social distancing devices into the wider health and safety market.