Our Investment in RealWear

by Brad Feld

Industrial workplaces are complex and dynamic environments dispersed over large geographic footprints. The efficiency, safety, and effectiveness of frontline workers often depend on timely communication with colleagues in other geographies, along with access to information contained in various formats on different systems throughout an enterprise. While the ubiquity of mobile devices solves some of these problems, they require users to hold them and use their hands to manipulate them. This activity is challenging, if not impossible, in many workplace situations, such as repairing industrial equipment. 

RealWear has solved the “hands-on” issue with head-mounted wearable devices and in doing so has become the market leader in assisted reality wearables for the frontline industrial workforce. Long regarded as the best solution for collaboration, looking up reference information, and logging work activity, RealWear devices can be attached to any hat, including the omnipresent hard hats worn by frontline workers in industrial settings, to deliver real-time data and communication capability anywhere. Built on Android technology, RealWear allows workers to have hands-free access all their daily applications, including videoconferencing, CMMS, over 100 workflow and data visualization systems, and any Android-based application. 

Foundry led RealWear’s Series C financing. Andrew Chrostowski, RealWear’s co-founder and CEO, is an Air Force veteran and former President of Scott Safety, a Tyco International company acquired in 2017. He has spent his career as an operator in the industrial applications space. In addition, Brad has known one of RealWear’s co-founders, Ken Lustig, for many years.

At the onset of Covid, enormous energy was focused on enabling office-based workers, especially in non-office environments. While many frontline workers continued to work at job sites during Covid, much less attention was paid to better enabling their efficiency, especially when interacting with their often remote office-based peers. We believe that technology enablement for frontline workers is the next phase in transforming the 21st-century workplace, and are excited to be working with the team at RealWear to help enable this transformation.