It’s a tough time for many tech startups amid the COVID-19 crisis, but some companies are still raising cash.
Seattle startup Bateau announced a $1.5 million pre-seed round Monday led by Founder’s Co-op, with participation from Alumni Ventures Group, Liquid 2 Ventures, Ride Ventures, and angel investors.
The year-old company sells safety and compliance software to businesses that need to manage operations in multiple locations.
The idea is to lessen the burden on HQ staff and field workers on staying up-to-date with the latest policies. Bateau also helps automate record keeping.
Bateau CEO and co-founder Paul Jarvis previously spent seven years at Palantir, working in site reliability and finance operations roles. His co-founder Henry Hutcheson was an engineer at FullStory and Amperity before launching Bateau with Jarvis this past June. They have one additional employee.
The company was initially focused on consumer industries such as retail and hospitality. But once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Bateau was approached by a senior living care provider that wanted to make sure safety policies and standards were being followed consistently at all its communities.
“There’s a huge need to enable verifiable compliance in the senior living space in particular, and we’re really focused there right now as that’s where the biggest need is,” Jarvis said. “But we also hope to be able to support other multi-location businesses like retailers and restaurants as they look reopen and operate safely in the coming months.”
While many tech startups are slashing expenses and cutting staff due to the economic crisis, some companies are receiving more attention to meet new demand caused by the pandemic.
“Now more than ever, supporting the work of distributed teams with consistency and verifiable performance is an urgent need across a huge swath of the economy,” Founder’s Co-op Managing Partner Chris DeVore said in a statement. “We’re excited to be working with such a terrific set of co-investors to help Bateau bring this important solution to market.”