PathSpot, which makes a scanner so restaurants can ensure their employees have properly washed their hands, announced yesterday that it has raised a $6.5 million Series A round of funding. The round was led by Valor Siren Ventures I L.P, which has an anchor investment from Starbucks. The round also included participation from existing investors FIKA Ventures and Walden Venture Capital. This brings the total amount of funding raised by PathSpot to $10.5 million.
PathSpot, as we have so eloquently written in the past, is a way for restaurants to prevent “poop hands” as a result of improper washing. Mounted on a wall in a restaurant’s kitchen, the scanner uses visible fluorescent spectroscopy to check washed hands for pathogens that may carry foodborne illnesses. After washing up, an employee puts their hand under the scanner and a screen tells them whether there are any contaminants remaining.
PathSpot charges a monthly fee starting at $175 a month, which includes the scanner and all the analytics.
As you are undoubtedly aware, hand washing has taken on greater importance during the past couple months of this pandemic. PathSpot’s fundraising comes at a time when restaurants are just starting to open under tighter guidelines and restrictions. An automated tool that monitors the cleanliness of employees’ hands could come in handy to ease at least some frazzled restaurant operator nerves around re-opening.
In addition to restaurants, PathSpot’s technology is used in cafeterias, packaging facilities and farms. The company says that its customers see an average 3x increase in handwashing, reduced instances of contaminant on hands by 75 percent within 30 days, and 97 percent reduction after six months. Plus there is more consistent compliance with FDA Food Code handwashing.
It’s been a busy week for PathSpot, which announced a partnership with Miso Robotics, which makes Flippy the burger cooking robot, earlier this week. Initially the partnership will be focused on cross-selling opportunities, but later on could include some technological integrations.
As we pay more attention to who has touched our food, and under what conditions, it’s not hard to see tech like PathSpot’s becoming more common, if not table stakes for any facility where people handle our food. PathSpot definitely seems to have a path forward.