2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenge and change, and has exposed how vulnerable we truly are. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered virtually every aspect of our lives, and changed the way we work, learn, live, play, and interact. Early in the year, as the pandemic spread globally, it became apparent how inadequately we were prepared. We were suddenly faced with a stark and humbling realization: pathogens have evolved, but the tools and technologies we use to combat them, have not.
We need a new standard for infection prevention – one that prioritizes human health and ensures the safety of the spaces where we spend our time, and one in which organizations of all shapes and sizes have access to the best technologies and protocols available today.
This is the reason R-Zero exists: to enhance the quality of human life by making the spaces we live, learn, work and play safer. Through creating a modern and holistic biosafety platform, we are reimagining infection prevention.
In April of this year, Ben Boyer, Eli Harris, and I founded R-Zero to democratize access to the best infection prevention tools and technologies, enabling our communities to protect what matters most.
While the majority of the world is forced to live day by day, we have taken the long view and asked how we can help all people—even those without a PhD or medical training—fight this microscopic war. And not just win a battle, but to actually rebuild so that in the future, no one has to know a dark, new normal.
At R-Zero, we are building a hopeful future – one even better than what we knew before the word “COVID” invaded our bodies, headlines and economies. In the world we see, no one has to stay 6 feet apart, smiles aren’t hidden behind masks, and no one has to say “I love you” or “goodbye” through a window. We see a world where schools, workplaces, hotels, and restaurants are no longer petri dishes. Attendance is up and sick days are down, and the anxiety of making our friends and families sick vanishes.
As we reflect on the last nine months, we are both proud and humbled by what we’ve accomplished, and more motivated than ever by what’s to come. A few highlights:
- In less than 5 months, we designed, developed, and launched Arc, the first truly hospital-grade UV-C system built for businesses. Today, Arc is enabling safety for hundreds of thousands of people, across millions of square feet of everyday spaces and common places, like school campuses, office spaces, professional sports team facilities, senior care facilities, dozens of county justice departments, beloved neighborhood and Michelin star restaurants, fitness studios, hotels and so much more.
- We’ve received investment from DBL Partners, with participation from a number of other world-class investors. Working with investors who share our values is incredibly important to us, and we could not have imagined a better fit. DBL invests in companies that can not only deliver top tier venture capital returns (first Bottom Line), but also enable social, environmental, and economic improvement in the regions that they operate (second Bottom Line). Aligning ourselves with a principled, mission-oriented, and successful firm like DBL enables us to maximize the positive social impact we can deliver.
- We’ve built a truly remarkable team that inspires me daily. And we’re still growing… fast. Our headcount has doubled every month for over a quarter – we continue to add exceptionally talented individuals to the team, who are motivated by our mission and incredibly driven to turn our vision into a reality.
But without question, what we’re most proud of, is the impact R-Zero’s technology has had on our partners and their communities. We are inspired by them, and grateful for them every day. In the spirit of sharing that inspiration, here are a few select quotes:
“Our students and families deserve the best and Arc has provided an extra layer of protection for our stakeholders. This simple and highly effective machine helped solve one of the most complex problems we have ever faced in public education. R-Zero’s UV technology has helped us maintain a commitment to our students and families of delivering instruction and personalized learning inside of our classrooms. The coronavirus pandemic has challenged schools in unprecedented ways. With the help of R-Zero, we will continue toward our goal of providing 175 days of in-personal instruction during the 2020-21 school year.”GARY TIPSORD, SUPERINTENDENT, LEROY CUSD
“R-Zero is making it possible for our restaurants to use the same UV-C technology that hospitals have relied on for decades. Arc allows us to disinfect all of the areas we can’t see, providing a necessary added layer of protection. Using UV-C technology in our restaurants, we feel confident we are providing the safest environment for our team and our guests in the market. And we have peace of mind knowing UV-C is non-toxic, so we are able to keep everyone safe without any negative chemical exposure.”SHERRY VILLANUEVA, MANAGING PARTNER, ACME HOSPITALITY
It can be hard to feel optimistic when there are still so many challenges ahead – but at R-Zero, we remain hopeful.
On behalf of the entire R-Zero team, thank you for your continued support and partnership. Here’s to a safer, stronger, healthier, world in 2021 and beyond.
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