Putting Our Funding to Work

Putting Our Funding to Work

Addressing the Future of Infectious Disease Management and Preventative Health by Reimagining the Employee-Employer Relationship

I still remember the day that I was talking to my parents and sister who live in India and Singapore and thinking to myself “It is only a matter of time until the virus shows up in the U.S. and we will be caught unprepared.” Unprepared because, unlike the countries my family lives in, the U.S. isn’t able to put in place the same level or type of restrictions, mandates, curfews, or health and safety requirements that they can enforce in Asia and in Europe. So I prepared for war.

When my co-founders Jikku Venkat, Jason Story, and I started ReturnSafe in June, our vision was to reinvent the employer/employee relationship by creating the best infectious disease management and wellness solution for the workplace. And because our country — and our world —  was faced with one of the most devastating viruses in nearly 100 years, we knew that our first responsibility would be to put on our combat gear and develop a solution that could slow the spread of the Coronavirus and build the best app to prevent the infectious disease from spreading at the workplace. We each felt a deep responsibility to help with the inevitable recovery a disease like this would require. Business continuity was being disrupted and bound to have a lasting impact on the economy and the people that power it. We resolved to build a tool for organizations to manage COVID and its consequences. A solution that would prevent one positive case from upending everyday life by becoming hundreds.

Here is where our journey, and the journey of ReturnSafe, began. We examined historical data, looked at what other countries deployed to successfully slow the spread of COVID, and recognized that the only way that businesses were going to be successful in keeping their communities healthy and safe was to create a way to screen, test, trace and manage COVID – a four-pillared approach that was effective in stemming the spread of viruses like MERS, SARS, and many others. 

Combining our expertise in technology, design, and healthcare, and tapping the decades of experience from teammates like our chief medical officer Dr. Reef Gillum, we built something in six short months, which has taken most companies years to accomplish.

We Are Family
We are extremely proud of and humbled by what we have accomplished. To date, more than 50 companies from every sector and industry, including long-term care, manufacturing, sports and entertainment, financial services, travel, education, and non-profit organizations have selected ReturnSafe as a partner in their plans to reopen their doors. Our relationship with our customers is intimate and collaborative. We have open and honest conversations that inform our product evolution. Every day, we learn something new from our customers and what we learn from one customer helps us better serve the market overall and together, benefits everyone using the platform. At ReturnSafe, we truly think of our customers like family and are thankful for the trust they put in us to enhance the health and safety of their teams. 

Today, as we share the news of a new funding round led by Fifty Years and Active Capital with additional funding from Necessary Ventures, in a year that many of us would prefer to skip, there is still so much to be thankful for. Our investors have been instrumental to our growth and their belief in our vision gets us excited to think even bigger. Speaking with one such investor recently, Fifty Years founder Seth Bannon talked about the intersection of purpose and profit. He believes that together we are building a new type of company. We are creating a new generation of purpose-driven businesses that reinvest profits to drive greater impact.

Reimagining Employee Health
More than 20 years ago, Pixar was an unknown studio launching their first animated movie, “Toy Story”. They then released “A Bug’s Life”, “Finding Nemo”, “The Incredibles” and many, many more, demonstrating that animated movies can be just as entertaining, emotionally moving, and successful as live-action films. 

I believe that this is our Pixar moment. Employee Health has a path to success, and more broadly, will reimagine the relationship between an employer and their employees. With the new funding, we will expand our products to support the evolution of what is going to be needed with COVID, particularly vaccine management. With hope on the horizon and not just one but three COVID vaccines, employers will be faced with a web of ever-changing government regulations and guidelines and will need a way to help manage workplace immunity. More importantly, this funding enables us to go deeper into infectious disease management and preventative health and wellness, COVID being the immediate need, and develop even more impactful solutions for the workplace of the future.  We are not fighting a single battle with COVID but rather preparing for a war that will influence the healthcare system for generations to come. 

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that 2020 will be a year to remember, from one of the most debated presidential elections in the history of our country to the global devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. While no one could have predicted the human toll and mass destruction the pandemic has had on families and businesses, there have been bright spots of human kindness, compassion, and sympathy. We have all found new ways to communicate and connect with loved ones and we hope that the coming year will bring opportunities to celebrate milestones we have missed and carry forth the sentiment of what has become 2020’s motto for many, “In This Together.”  

ReturnSafe Raises $3.25M to Accelerate Adoption of New Workplace Safety and Infectious Disease Management Solution

ReturnSafe Raises $3.25M to Accelerate Adoption of New Workplace Safety and Infectious Disease Management Solution

World’s first infectious disease management platform for employers helps businesses, universities, healthcare facilities, and sports and entertainment venues reopen and stay open. 

AUSTIN, TEXAS  — December 22, 2020 — ReturnSafe, the company establishing new standards and tools for managing safety, health, and well-being in the workplace, today announced $3.25M in funding led by Fifty Years and Active Capital with additional investments from Necessary Ventures. This additional funding follows a rapid period of growth where the company achieved six-figure monthly recurring revenue and onboarded more than 50 organizations in the first six months of operation.  

ReturnSafe’s solution protects tens of thousands of people spanning across health and senior care organizations, educational institutions, sports and entertainment event venues, non-profits, hospitality businesses, manufacturing facilities, professional services, real estate and construction firms, and more from around the globe.

“COVID-19 upended our world and forced the closure of workplaces, schools, and universities. Efforts to mitigate the devastating toll of the pandemic have created additional challenges such as a spike in unemployment and worse educational outcomes,” said Seth Bannon, founder of Fifty Years. “ReturnSafe allows us to fire up our economic, education, and entertainment engines while keeping everyone safe. From Sesame Street to the San Antonio Spurs to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society — world-class organizations are relying on ReturnSafe to bring people back to work safely. ReturnSafe is not only helping companies keep their employees safe from COVID-19, it is setting new standards to prevent future disease outbreaks in the workplace.”

“We’ve been impressed by ReturnSafe’s agility in responding to the challenges of reopening physical spaces. Their speed and expertise are meeting the legal and logistical complexities involved here,” said Neil Devani, founder of Necessary Ventures. “Almost every organization will need a reopening plan. Many believe these issues will subside when COVID-19 subsides. We expect the opposite. ReturnSafe’s focus on prevention will also help avoid backslides to the reactive stances that have been so devastating for so many.”

How it Works
ReturnSafe’s infectious disease management platform has established a new paradigm for safety, health, and well-being by offering organizations an integrated solution that prevents and slows the spread of infectious diseases. Included are:

  • A daily symptoms screening app that documents regulatory compliance and enables real-time risk management based on guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and tailored to company-specific HR policies.
  • A testing dashboard provides rapid notifications of positive test results, a requirement for mitigating contagion in fast-moving environments, especially important when lab responses are slow.
  • High-resolution contact-tracing leveraging wearable devices with built-in social distancing alarms, one of the most needed solutions in active environments.
  • Case manager dashboard with workflows for employee isolation and quarantine management.
  • Vaccine management for employers to oversee workplace immunity without compromising on employee safety and privacy, the most recent addition to the platform.

The Team
“We started ReturnSafe for two main reasons – to keep employees safe and healthy and to ensure business continuity by minimizing disruption in the workplace due to the risk of a disease outbreak. COVID-19 has created massive human resources challenges, and while our initial objective is to slow the spread of COVID-19, we recognize a greater need to help employers manage all forms of infectious disease,” said Tarun Nimmagadda, founder and chief executive officer at ReturnSafe. “To reduce liabilities and keep employees safe, companies must adopt new preventative measures and technologies. With this new funding, we will scale our efforts for infectious disease management with new proactive and reactive capabilities like our vaccine and immunity management.”

The founding team, which consists of doctors and medical professionals, public health experts, and technology leaders, has built multiple hundred-million-dollar enterprise software and health-tech companies, deployed enterprise software solutions in more than 100 countries globally, and experienced numerous prior exits valued at greater than $300 million.

About Fifty Years
Fifty Years is a San Francisco based seed fund that backs entrepreneurs solving the world’s biggest problems with technology. The Fifty Years team consists of former founders supporting founders using business as a force for good. They’ve seeded many technology startups shaping the world for the better — companies like Memphis Meats, Solugen, Substack, and NURX. For more information, visit www.fiftyyears.com.

About Active Capital:
Active Capital is a venture firm designed to lead seed rounds for B2B SaaS companies outside
of Silicon Valley. The firm is founded and run by former B2B SaaS founders with hands-on
experience starting, building, and scaling high growth businesses in underdog cities across America. Active Capital is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, and invests in B2B SaaS companies all over. To learn more, please visit https://www.activecapital.com.
About Necessary Ventures
Necessary Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in companies solving the world’s hardest problems. Our portfolio includes companies like Farmer’s Business Network, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Talkspace, and Vicarious Surgical. We help companies scale rapidly using mission-based narratives to drive tangible, business outcomes. For more information, please visit: www.necessary.vc.
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