Edinburgh firm behind physical distancing device gets £700k injection

Reactec, the Edinburgh-based tech company that recently launched a device to enable physical distancing among workers, has secured a fresh six-figure funding injection.

Reactec is one of the leaders in monitoring and data analytics for hand and arm vibration syndrome, which is one of the most common industrial diseases in the UK.

The £700,000 funding round has been led by business angel investment syndicate Archangels, which is also based in the Scottish capital, with co-funding from Scottish Investment Bank – the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

The latest funding round has included £103,000 of investment from Reactec’s board, management and staff.

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Reactec is one of the leaders in monitoring and data analytics for hand and arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), which is one of the most common industrial diseases in the UK.

Last year, the workplace health monitoring capabilities of the firm’s wrist worn HAVwear device were ramped up with the introduction of an “internet of things” communication hub and collaborations with suppliers of specific health risk monitors.

The new funding round is aimed at expanding the company’s health risk sensor portfolio and growing its global footprint.

In response to the workplace challenges of the current health pandemic, Reactec’s system was further developed to enable companies to help their workers to observe physical distancing protocols while at work.

The Safedistance device has been reprogrammed to alert workers if they have broken the two-metre distancing regulation. Using Bluetooth, the monitor can track if workers get any closer. If they do, the monitor vibrates to alert both that physical distancing rules have been broken.

Since its launch in May, Safedistance is being used by 80 customers around the UK, deploying 4,000 devices with the distancing facility. Enquiries have been received from a further 180-odd companies.

Jacqui McLaughlin, chief executive of Reactec, said: “Our technology roadmap is all about empowering companies with real life insight to the risks their employees face at work.

“The added ability to help companies and their workers get back to work safely by helping them to maintain a safe distance from each other is another string to our bow and I’m proud of the team that has developed this facility in such a short space of time.

“It has caught the attention of the media and of hundreds of companies who are wrestling with the restrictions that are being placed on all of us as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis.”

Sarah Hardy of Archangels said: “Staying healthy and safe at work has always been Reactec’s goal but now, more than ever before, the company’s ability to harness the latest technology to keep those at work safe at work is hugely valuable.

“Archangels has a strong track record in supporting innovative Scottish companies and we are confident it is those such as Reactec that will succeed by deploying clever technology in new ways to tackle the new issues that we face in a post-Covid world.”

Kerry Sharp, director, Scottish Investment Bank, added: “The Reactec team deserves huge credit for its perceptive assessment of the workplace challenges created by Covid-19 and the speed with which it’s adapted its products to address those difficulties.”

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