August 10, 2021

Reno-based IoT startup CoWorkR acquired by R-Zero

Elizabeth Redmond Courtesy Photo

NNBW staff report

Biosafety tech company R-Zero recently acquired Reno-based IoT company CoWorkr.

It marks the first acquisition for Salt Lake City-based R-Zero, which is fresh off a Series B fundraising round of $41.5 million, according to a July 20 press release.

CoWorkr, which relocated to Reno from the Bay Area in 2018, develops AI-driven sensors to help companies plan and transition to more modern, efficient and productive workplaces.

Due to the pandemic, the number of sensors CoWorkr quoted grew from 500 to 1,000 for a single client to 2,000 to 20,000 per client, Elizabeth Redmond, CEO of CoWorkr, said in a July 2020 NNBW story.

A year later, the acquisition by R-Zero — the terms of which were not disclosed — will accelerate speed to market for the IoT sensor network “that will provide critical real-time visibility and data insights, enabling intelligent, closed-loop automation of R-Zero’s disinfection ecosystem for businesses across all industries,” according to the release.

“Creating and maintaining physical spaces that promote productivity and health is both the objective and obligation of every organization. R-Zero’s acquisition of CoWorkr brings a layer of data and intelligence to our biosafety platform that enables us to create smart and healthy buildings designed for how people actually interact,” Grant Morgan, CEO and co-founder of R-Zero, said in a statement. “Space utilization is a critical determinant of risk. CoWorkr’s robust IoT sensor network allows us to quantify health risk better than ever before, by virtue of understanding where people are in a given space. By closing the loop between occupancy, risk and disinfection, businesses can successfully measure and manage indoor productivity and health with a level of sophistication and ease that until now has not existed.

“CoWorkr not only brings cutting edge technology and an industry leading platform, but a team of thought leaders with deep expertise in workplace intelligence and optimization.”

Per the release, the combination of R-Zero and CoWorkr’s technologies “provides the insights and tools to enable businesses to make more intelligent decisions about how to adapt and manage their spaces in response to an ever-changing, post-pandemic workplace environment.”

In 2019 alone, lost productivity from illnesses cost U.S. businesses $575 billion, according to R-Zero. Of that, $151 billion was the result of employee sick days, illuminating the direct impact indoor environments have on overall human health.

“The last year and a half have highlighted the practical shortcomings in the market, and we are excited to integrate CoWorkr’s existing utilization technology with R-Zero’s product roadmap,” Redmond said in a statement. “Together, we will be building an unprecedented platform that efficiently manages air quality, space utilization, and helps people feel like they can thrive again at work. Workplaces build community and culture, and we believe it’s paramount that companies can rebuild spaces to be healthier, safer and more dynamic.”