This combination will use real-time building occupancy data to trigger whole-room UV disinfection

by Brianna Crandall — September 8, 2021 — R-Zero, a biosafety technology startup dedicated to creating safer, healthier indoor spaces, recently announced its acquisition of CoWorkr, a property technology company offering privacy-first space utilization sensors for data-driven workplaces. Fresh off of Series B funding, R-Zero’s first acquisition accelerates speed to market for an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network that will provide critical real-time visibility and data insights, enabling intelligent, closed-loop automation of R-Zero’s ultraviolet (UV) disinfection ecosystem for businesses across all industries.

R-Zero - CoWorkr logoCoWorkr’s versatile, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven sensor network features real-time occupancy streaming for meeting, conference, personal and collaboration spaces. Cutting-edge thermal sensing technology allows the company to put privacy first, while providing intelligent, granular workplace analytics. The addition of this intelligence layer allows R-Zero’s biosafety platform to analyze how an entire workplace functions, assess real-time risk and then automatically disinfect the spaces that need it — equipping organizations with continuous, automated disinfection infrastructure. With access to real-time insights on how their spaces are being used, businesses can make their health and safety operations more efficient and effective, reducing sick days and related costs while improving overall productivity.

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Grant Morgan, CEO and co-founder of R-Zero, stated:

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. 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.

This acquisition also comes at a critical moment as companies across the country begin returning to a permanently altered workplace. Employers must navigate uncharted hybrid work models while ensuring safety for a returning workforce that now possesses an acute awareness of the impact indoor environments have on their overall health. The combination of R-Zero and CoWorkr’s best-in-class 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. With comprehensive utilization data of their buildings, employers and facilities operators can better understand how the workplace is utilized and effectively adjust the risk profile of their spaces — prioritizing the health and safety of occupants.

R-Zero Arc office lobby

Real-time building occupancy data from CoWorkr’s IoT sensor network will trigger R-Zero’s whole-room UV disinfection device. Image courtesy R-Zero

Elizabeth Redmond, CEO of CoWorkr, remarked:

We have spent years understanding the CRE landscape, and we have learned how difficult it is for our customers to create healthier buildings. Not only are data resources siloed, but systems are antiquated and very infrequently offer a post-construction solution. 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. 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.

In 2019 alone, lost productivity from illnesses cost U.S. businesses $575 billion, according to statistics cited by R-Zero. Of that, $151 billion was the result of employee sick days. The past year illuminated the direct impact indoor environments have on overall human health. The addition of CoWorkr’s IoT sensor network unlocks new commercial real estate capabilities for R-Zero’s biosafety technology platform. This acquisition enables R-Zero to redefine holistic building health, with biosafety technology at the center — ultimately powering a healthier, more productive workplace of the future. Moving forward, the organizations that successfully adjust and adapt their physical spaces to prioritize productivity and health will gain a significant competitive advantage.

Morgan continued:

CoWorkr’s sensor solution is not only strategic to R-Zero, but very core to our long-term vision. We will continue to invest heavily in CoWorkr’s platform, as creating truly safer, healthier buildings requires this critical layer of intelligence.

R-Zero is dedicated to developing the most effective and innovative disinfection technologies, to reduce the spread of all infectious diseases. R-Zero’s first product, Arc (an IoT-enabled, whole-room UV disinfection device) is currently enabling a higher level of health safety for hundreds of thousands of people, across both public and private sector organizations, without the use of chemicals. R-Zero says it is pioneering the first continuous, automated disinfection ecosystem, enabling every organization to measure and manage indoor health with a high level of sophistication and ease. Informed by data science, built with AI-, ML-, and IoT-connected hardware, R-Zero’s intelligent biosafety platform is engineered to provide greater visibility, automation and even smarter risk reduction within the indoor spaces where people spend their time.

CoWorkr provides an anonymous, real-time workplace technology platform for measuring how employees utilize spaces. The company’s easy-to-deploy battery-powered and infrared-based sensors collect data without jeopardizing worker privacy. Workplace utilization data is used to help organizations transition from assigned work modalities to more modern agile or hybrid work models. This real-time utilization data is leveraged for workplace experience applications while historical data is used by the real estate team for future planning and transitions. CoWorkr says it has streamed over 8 million days of data for its customers and has helped major Fortune 500s save millions in annual commercial real estate costs by identifying vacancies in underperforming spaces. Workplace occupancy data stakeholders include corporate real estate, employee experience, and, increasingly, facilities and janitorial services teams.