Investment notes: Scannable

Alex Dam

Scannable is on a mission to digitise the safety equipment data supply chain.

We had the pleasure of first meeting Rob Partridge earlier last year in mid-2021. What we were most impressed with is the tenacity of this gentleman and the audacity of his vision to create a better, more connected world of equipment.

Firstly, we would like to make a shoutout to the start-up ecosystem in Queenstown, Wanaka and the rest of the South Island of Aotearoa. These regions are so important to us to support the amazing founders that are creating amazing things!

As with most of our current portfolio, Scannable is using innovative technology coupled with a common-sense approach to equipment management, starting with safety equipment.

An industry-wide problem

Safety equipment management has long been a pen and paper task and a highly administrative process that is time-consuming, riddled with human error and a lack of transparency. For example, think about a safety helmet manufacturer. Each type (or model) of helmet they make has a specific SKU number, while each individual helmet that they make requires its very own unique serial number – lots of stuff to keep track of! If for whatever reason there is a fault in the production of the helmet, product recalls are one of the most painstaking tasks that a manufacturer can do because currently, there is no way to know the end-user of the equipment, thus not knowing who is walking around with a faulty helmet. Recalls are done manually which wastes time and money – a rather negative outcome for both the manufacturer and end-user. Another piece to this disparity in communication is the heavy health implications of faulty safety equipment. Safety equipment saves lives. Faulty equipment puts lives in jeopardy. 

The same can be said for the equipment resellers and equipment owners when they are trying to update their systems on each and every piece of equipment that they own or are selling. This is also a painstaking manual process that beckons innovation.

Scannable is the data supply chain solution

Scannable is a cloud-based equipment traceability platform, built to connect the eco-system of equipment production, supply and asset management software​.

Scannable digitises safety equipment to allow any user to trace back the origins or conclusion of a piece of safety equipment. Stakeholders from one end, such as the manufacturers are able to trace their products all the way to their end-user. Not only does Scannable do this, but they also allow users to connect compliance documents, technical data and sales content so that data access and retrieval is frictionless.

Scannable aims to be the gold standard of safety equipment data in the world, and they are starting with height safety equipment first – an area near and dear to the founder, Rob Partridge’s heart and one he has been working in for more than a decade.

The market

As Scannable is first starting off with height safety equipment, it was calculated that the global industrial fall protection equipment market exceeded $3 billion in 2019. A report depicted the compounded annual growth rate of this industry to exceed 7.5%. As we see more stringent regulations and growing concerns over height safety in the coming years, we will see improvements of safety standards across the board which will propel the industries growth. Obviously, we see Scannable being a  large part of this as they connect with multiple datasets to create one unified global equipment data sphere. 

However, this is only the start with height safety equipment. Scannable has ambitious plans to enter other equipment verticals, capture market share and become a one-stop cloud solution for equipment management.

The team

Robert Partridge

Having spent most of his career so far in design and manufacturing, from outdoor equipment to height safety, Rob has deep industry expertise in the world of equipment. Rob has held various roles as product manager for many brands and manufacturers creating, selling or offering digital solutions for equipment. Previously, he held roles at AMG Group in Scotland and DMM in the U.K, all of which attributed to the identification of a deep problem in the industry, and the ideation of a digital solution to tackle it. As Rob is also an avid outdoorsman and rock climber, he has identified the problem from multiple stakeholders points of view, not just that of a manufacturer. Rob has now come back to Aotearoa to create Scannable to remove data entry from equipment management and save lives in the process. 

Gene Dower

Gene comes on as a late Co-founder and CTO of Scannable. Software & web development comes natural to Gene, having spent more than a decade in this space for various brands. Gene also knows what it means to trust equipment with his life, as his preferred way to spend a lunch break is flying off Bob’s Peak above the Queenstown Gondola. Most notably and recently, Gene lead the development team of First Table, an Aotearoa-based technology start-up in the hospitality industry, where he further developed the technical leadership to run a successful start-up. Gene has deep experience in system architecture design and implementation from previous roles and has also worked as a freelance tech consultant to advise on tech solutions for many brands in Aotearoa.

Founder grit

At Hillfarrance, we invest in people first and foremost. It was a no-brainer that we are ecstatic about Rob’s vision for the future of safety equipment data, however, what drew us to make this investment was the tenacity and character of the founder. Raising capital is no easy task and is riddled with stress. Rob not only closed a capital raise and was closing business deals whilst raising money, but was also awaiting the birth of his daughter, Isla. Throughout the investment process, we saw Rob’s tenacity to navigate uncomfortable and stressful situations whilst not faltering on his core mission of connecting the world’s equipment data.

What’s next for Scannable?

Off the back of their successful capital raise in December 2021, Scannable is fuelling the next iteration of their flagship product and are securing valuable contracts with safety equipment manufacturers, resellers and owners. 

They are also looking to expand their team with new hires in these core roles:

  • A React Native Developer
  • A NodeJS Full Stack Developer

For anyone who wants to work for a fast-paced startup that is revolutionising the way equipment data is used, please feel free to reach out to rob@scannable.io for opportunities. As we would attest to, working for a start-up at the very beginning of their journey is some of the most fulfilling work you can do.

As for what Hillfarrance Venture Capital is doing to help them grow, we will be providing business strategy support, revenue generation via our many contacts locally, but most importantly, offshore and supporting the team in future fundraising strategies when the time comes to raise a Seed round.

As big proponents of data and machine learning, we are truly excited about the possibilities and insights that can be gathered through this data that Scannable is collecting, specifically with providing deeper transparency and knowledge gain for all stakeholders in the value chain (from manufacturers, all the way to the end-user of the product). There are millions of data points connected to each serial number which flow through numerous stakeholders. We are very excited to see this come to fruition.

They are solving a huge, hairy, audacious problem that plagues the safety equipment industry and is ripe for innovation. If they get this right, they become the gold standard of safety equipment data for an entire industry. From an impact perspective, the Scannable team displays our shared value of Kaitiakitanga – about nurturing the connection of people and environment and preserving the mana and mauri (life force) of the environment. We see this clearly in their vision to eliminate unnecessary waste creation from discarded equipment.

Finally, we believe they have the right team to execute this vision, with complementary skills that exhibit great cohesion, integrity and mana.