Startups

Density Raises $51M To Help Count Employees In Offices

Social distancing is perhaps one of the most prominent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. So when companies look to reopen their offices and buildings, limiting the number of people in a room is key.

That’s where Density‘s technology, a tool to anonymously count people, comes in.

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The company recently closed a $51 million Series C round led by Kleiner Perkins. The idea behind the company is that if businesses and organizations know how many people are in the building and how the space is being used, they can be more efficient with it and not waste space.

“The team had a thought that if you knew how a building was used, how a city was used, would you build that differently?” Density chief marketing officer Aleks Strub said in an interview with Crunchbase News.

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing how many people are in a location is more important than ever, but for a whole other set of reasons.

“We don’t believe there’s a future where humans don’t figure out (how) they measure space, we just think the pandemic just accelerated the timeline,” Strub said.

Density’s technology is anonymous by design. The sensors go over doorways and use lasers to measure head patterns, acting as a network to tell how many people are in a room, according to Strub. Most recently, the company rolled out its real-time occupancy system, Safe by Density.

Now that many places are reopening or exploring how to safely reopen, Density has seen businesses across industries express interest in the company and its products, according to Strub. Before, many of Density’s customers used its products for office spaces, places of worship, or areas in the hospitality industry (think Delta’s airport lounge).

But now companies are buying the product for spaces like meatpacking facilities, warehouses and casinos. Some higher-education institutions were customers pre-pandemic, but demand has increased significantly as colleges and universities figure out how to safely reopen and limit students in areas such as dining halls and libraries.

The new funding will be used to expand the company’s operations, sales team and double down on product and engineering.

The company was growing 30 percent quarter over quarter last year, but did more business in the first 75 days after COVID-19 took hold than it did in all of last year, Strub said. Density, which counts Pinterest, Hello Fresh and New York University as customers,  had to increase its production volume out of its Syracuse facility by 90 percent.

Density last raised money with its Series B in June 2018, and now has a total of $74 million in funding. Additional investors in the Series C round include 01 Advisors, Upfront Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, LPC Ventures, Launch, Founders Fund, Greenoaks Capital, DTA (in participation with Alex Rodriguez), Cyan and Scott Banister, and Julia and Kevin Hartz, according to the company.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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