Biosafety startup R-Zero raises $105M in new funding round

Biosafety startup R-Zero raises $105M in new funding round

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Biosafety technology startup R-Zero Systems Inc. said today it has closed on a bumper $105 million funding round led by the global investment firm CDPQ, bringing its total amount raised to more than $170 million.

BMO Financial Group, Qualcomm Ventures, Upfront Ventures, DBL Partners, World Innovation Lab, Mayo Clinic, Bedrock Capital, SOSV and John Doerr also participated in the Series C. round.

The size of the round is impressive, coming at a time when many venture capital firms are scaling back their investments in other industries. Clearly, though, investors believe there’s still big demand for R-Zero’s biosafety systems, which are focused on improving indoor air quality in offices, factories, warehouses, industrial facilities and other workplaces.

R-Zero has created an “internet of things” style biosafety platform that relies on connected sensors and incorporates UV-C technology that it says is able to neutralize 99.9% of airborne and surface microorganisms, while optimizing disinfection for every kind of indoor space. Those products are combined with the sensors, which measure air quality and capture and convert occupancy and disinfection data before transforming it into insights. Companies can then understand how to better optimize their indoor spaces by modeling, identifying and mitigating risk.

The company explained that it was the outbreak of COVID-19 that first ignited interest in its platform, and that it has seen sustained interest even as the pandemic has waned. According to R-Zero Chief Executive Jennifer Nuckles, the pandemic highlighted the longstanding risks of people working closely together in shared indoor spaces, which include breathing air that might be harmful.

“We spend 90% of our time indoors, but there has been a lack of innovation around improving air quality,” she said. “R-Zero is helping customers replace antiquated systems and provide sustainable, healthy indoor spaces for their communities.”

The company didn’t provide any concrete numbers, but stated it has seen growing interest in its technology platform from multiple sectors, with a “surge of installments” in schools, hospitals, senior care centers, corporate campuses and public spaces.

Dr. Christie Whitbeck, superintendent of Fort Bend Independent School District, said R-Zero’s biosafety tech has helped enhance its existing disinfection processes, helping to create healthier environments for students, faculty staff and others in its school buildings. “Schools across the nation now recognize how air quality impacts student outcomes,” she said.

Image: R-Zero

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