Armored Things Raises $12 Million in Series A Funding

BOSTON, August 24, 2021 — Armored Things, a crowd analysis and intelligence software company, today announced that it has raised $12 million in Series A financing led by Nimble Ventures, with additional new investment from Gutbrain VenturesPBJ Capital, and Micromanagement Ventures.


Existing investors Glasswing VenturesWill Ventures, and iNovia Capital also participated in the round.

The Armored Things AI-powered platform provides facilities and security teams with an accurate, real-time understanding of how many, and how often people are utilizing different spaces in arenas, buildings, and on campuses. The software enables smarter decisions related to crowd density, space utilization, security, maintenance, and guest experience while also providing easy access to valuable data trends for ROI related to space management.

The company will use the new funding to continue to build out its product platform, add to its team, and accelerate its go-to-market efforts in sports and entertainment venues, and on college and corporate campuses.


“The market for crowd intelligence and analytics in sporting/entertainment venues and college and corporate campuses are poised for exceptional growth over the next few years.”

– JULIE JOHNSON ROBERTS, ARMORED THINGS CO-FOUNDER AND CEO

Lead investor Nimble Ventures is the early-stage focused venture arm of the family office of John Burbank, a renowned hedge fund investor who is also an investor in US and international sporting teams. 

Nimble Ventures’ Nathan Mee will join the Armored Things Board of Directors. 


“Armored Things has positioned itself as an early innovator in what we believe will be a huge and fast-growing market as venue owners and facilities managers respond to these changes and look for new ways to optimize their space and the guest experience.”

– NATHAN MEE, NIMBLE VENTURES

Earlier this year, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced their deployment of Armored Things solution to help ensure safety and security for fans and staff at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), part of Major League Soccer (MLS), also utilizes the software at Banc of California Stadium. The University of Tennessee Knoxville has made Armored Things part of its smart campus strategy.

Along with the new funding, Armored Things also announced the addition of Jonathan Tice as Chief Revenue Officer. In his role, Tice leads Armored Things’ market expansion with responsibility for sales and marketing, business development, and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining Armored Things, Tice was Chief Customer Officer at FocusVision, a global provider of the survey, research, and analytics software for large enterprises. His background also includes successful sales leadership positions at Decipher, Critical Mix, and Authentic Response.


ABOUT ARMORED THINGS


Armored Things provides an AI-powered Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for crowd analysis and intelligence. By combining data from existing security and IT systems with predictive analytics, the software provides facilities management teams with a real-time visual representation of people and flow within any campus or venue space. Easy-to-use dashboards equip users to anticipate changes and inform decisions to improve guest services, space utilization, operations, staffing, and security. Since its founding in 2016, Armored Things has built a team of security and technology experts to deliver world-class solutions to stadiums, corporations, and campuses around the country. For more information, visit https://www.armoredthings.com/

Learn more about how Armored Things helps campuses and venues make the most of their spaces.

CIO Q&A: JLL Technologies’ Eddy Wagoner on Reopen Strategies

JLL Technologies Executive Director and Chief Digital Information Officer Edward Wagoner has a unique view of  COVID-19 reopen strategies through his work at  JLL, the global real estate company with 4.6 billion square feet managed in property and facilities.

A veteran real estate CIO and frequent peer advisor, Wagoner has spent recent weeks consulting with customers ranging from small tech startups to global companies with multi-national locations about how and when they will return to workspaces. Wagoner spoke with Armored Things as part of our CIO & Executive series focused on reopen strategies.

On Buildings & Tenants: “There was a day where if you wanted to inquire about another tenant in your building, anybody would probably tell you to go read the name of the tenants listed in the lobby. That’s all you needed to know, right? Well, COVID doesn’t pay attention to security access. You and your company are going to want to understand what other tenants are in your building are doing, what industry are they in? Does it jeopardize your people or your operations? I had one CIO say ‘We’re going to start looking at the other tenants in the building in a way we never have before because of the risks that they could have to our operations.’ That’s new.”

Contact Tracing: “I think we could use some of the existing real estate technologies to do this. Wouldn’t you like your company to be able to say that you were with someone yesterday who tested positive? Then your company could say ‘Let’s get you home. Let’s get you to your doctor, and we’ll let other people know they don’t have to worry. And by the way, we’ve taken immediate cleaning steps.’’ It’s fast, it’s automated. Or would you rather wait until your company does the manual tracing? That takes a longer time. It exposes you to more people. But I’ve heard people say ‘I’m never doing that [automated tracing]’. In everyday life, we let Uber track us. Why? Because we understand the benefit. If we perceive that we are getting a benefit, we will willingly give up some of our information. Now, on the other hand, I do get people’s hesitations. I think, especially in the U.S., there needs to be stronger laws and regulations around how you’re going to use that information, so people clearly understand it. And if you violate that, there should be significant enough penalties.”

“COVID doesn’t happen on the internet. It happens in the real world. In our office buildings, our industrial warehouses, our shopping malls, our restaurants. That  is the real world.”

Fear and Doubt: ‘We’re either fearful that we’re going to get it [COVID-19], or fearful that we’re going to bring it home to loved ones. Or we are fearful, wondering ‘Am I going to have my job?’ And even for those die-hard people that say they are not afraid of this—well, they actually are. They’re afraid our economy won’t rebound quickly. Afraid of social disorder. This has created a lot of fear in a lot of people, in ways that we’ve not seen in our lifetimes. A big part of what we’ve got to do is ask ‘How do we help transform that fear into trust?’  And to do that, we tell people, ‘Look, here’s how we’re going to use technology. Here’s how we’re going to use capabilities to keep you safe.’ And in the event someone is exposed or someone else’s exposed, we would understand all the actions needed to mitigate that situation.”

On Technology : “There’s going to be a technology role to play in redesigning whatever the future workplace will be. I heard a CIO make the statement that they were thinking about completely redoing the badge access to buildings so that if you weren’t scheduled to be in the office that day, you couldn’t get in. There absolutely is a role to play for the workplace utilization technologies. Another CIO said he has teams that are saying when they come to the office, they want to work together, but that means they want to be six feet apart from other team members. Whereas before they were two feet apart. What does that do to the departments that are laid out in continuous spacing?

In many cases, companies have big IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management Systems) already in place for their real estate. They don’t even realize they have some existing functionality in those systems, that works perfectly to enable our post-COVID world. There are a lot of potential opportunities and I think the companies that figure out how to use technology to create these healthier workplaces will get their employees from fear to trust faster. That means that their top talent will be focused on the business of the company—and that puts them at a competitive advantage.

COVID doesn’t happen on the internet. It happens in the real world. In our office buildings, our industrial warehouses, our shopping malls, our restaurants. That is the real world. Some companies are going to get competitive advantage; they’re going to survive and then they’re going to thrive—depending on what they do now. Our real-world situation is that we need to crate these healthier, safer, more trustworthy workplaces.”

“You’ve got to come up with that strategy before rushing out and buying something, in my opinion. The CEOs I talk to, especially the big, global CEOs, they’re trying to avoid snap decisions like that.”

On Thermal Cameras: “Before you buy a thermal camera—what’s your strategy? We’ve got an example of a company that was using thermal temperature screeners, and they used the security guards to do it. Well, first of all, they aren’t trained healthcare professionals. So, they are standing near the doors, and every time the doors would open from the parking lot, a blast of cold air would come in, causing misreads. The process hadn’t been thought out completely. If you’ve got it [thermal technology] how will you operate it? What will you do with the information? Are you going to put that on every possible entrance and exit? What do you do about visitors that come in? What happens in the middle of the day? If someone gets a temperature, are you going to take readings throughout the entire workplace?

You’ve got to come up with that strategy before rushing out and buying something, in my opinion. The CEOs I talk to, especially the big, global CEOs, they’re trying to avoid snap decisions like that.  They have come together, and they may have one leader from the executive committee who is driving things, but there’s a collaboration across all of the various disciplines about how it would work. Who should take the lead on it? What will we do with the data? How will that change our operations? There’s also change involved in the process. And that’s where things break down. So often you can have the best technology in the world and if you don’t have the right people, the right processes, and the right change management, it’s not going to work.”

On Trust: “I think it’s beyond the CIO. It’s the company and everybody in the company that makes the decisions. It’s going to be right down to some of the line managers. Do you understand the precautions that you need to take? If someone reports to you that they don’t feel well, do you need to report to facilities? If the company says we want to enforce social distancing in the office, but we’ve still got the pre-workspace floor plan—are you going to cordon off every other desk to do that social distancing? What are you going to do if you walk up and see two coworkers two feet of each other talking? I think that trust not only extends within the corporations, but between individuals. It’s cultural, it’s personal, it’s corporate, it’s all of those. And I struggle to think of another situation where we’ve had all of those come together before.”

Armored Things Partners With LAFC, Raises Additional $7M in Round Led by Will Ventures

Armored Things today made dual announcements as part of their campaign to help campuses and venues reopen with confidence.

A new partnership with the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), part of Major League Soccer (MLS), will help ensure the safe return of fans to LAFC games. The MLS club will implement Armored Things’ crowd intelligence solution at its stadium to enable a real-time understanding of fan flow and enable smarter decisions related to crowd density, space utilization, security and sanitation.  The joint Armored Things-LAFC press release can be read here.

Armored Things also announced it has raised $7 million in additional seed funding led by Will Ventures with participation from Splunk, provider of the Data-to-Everything Platform, and existing investors Glasswing Ventures, iNovia and MassVentures.


“The application of Armored Things’ technology extends well beyond sports.”

– ISAIAH KACYVENSKI, WILL VENTURES

Former NFL linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski co-founded the venture capital firm Will Ventures to invest in technologies that could be pressure-tested by sport.  “The application of Armored Things’ technology extends well beyond sports,” said Kacyvenski. “We believe it will not only change how large sports stadiums operate, but also how university campuses, corporate campuses and smart cities are managed and experienced.”

The new funding brings Armored Things total capital investment to $14.8m.  


“Armored Things’ crowd intelligence software provides us the ability to anticipate how our fans will move throughout the venue, so we can continue to enhance the quest experience.”

– CHRISTIAN LAU, LAFC

In their coverage of the announcements, The Stadium Business highlighted LAFC’s earlier announcement to expand its partnership with Patriot One Technologies to launch The Stadium & Event Safety Strategic Alliance.

“When fans return to Banc of California Stadium, the ability to measure crowd size and movement will be critical as we prepare to safely manage concourse traffic, operate concessions, and utilize club spaces,” said Christian Lau, Chief Technology Officer at LAFC. “Armored Things’ crowd intelligence software provides us the ability to anticipate how our fans will move throughout the venue, so we can continue to enhance the guest experience.”

Armored Things Co-founder & CEO and Julie Johnson Roberts told BostInno that Armored Things is focused on helping campuses and venues reopen safely. “It wasn’t without some fear, in March, when you call yourself a crowd intelligence company and ‘crowd’ suddenly becomes the worst word to say,” Johnson told BostInno. “It became clear several weeks later that we could be helpful. Now, we have a whole pipeline of universities and teams and companies considering working with us.”

Armored Things provides real-time understanding of people and flow in large venues.  Our AI software is deployed in command centers and on mobile devices to enable smarter decisions related to crowd density, space utilization, security for stadiums, college and corporate campuses, and conference sites.

To learn more about how our SaaS solution can help you reopen with confidence, download our comprehensive e-book today.

Internship Advice: Why Everyone Should Work at a Startup

“Keeping people safe where they work and play” – That slogan drew me to apply for a software engineering internship at Armored Things, and the same slogan greeted me upon my arrival to the office for my interview. Now, eight months later, I can confidently say that Armored Things lives up to that mission.

Having completed three years of my undergraduate computer science degree, I came into the internship excited to see how my studies applied to real-world solutions. Doing an internship at a startup is a different experience from working at a large, established company. That’s because you are able to watch a company develop and grow, and be part of the team that makes that possible. From day one, I felt like I was contributing work that was critical to the company’s success.

As an intern, I primarily worked with the engineering team, but I was also given the opportunity to listen to sales calls, and hear how customers are interested in using our product. Beyond that, I was able to expand my portfolio of programming languages and frameworks. I learned new applications for my interest in functional programming, as well as front-end frameworks that were new to me. Among the engineering tasks, I completed was creating a new library to be put into production to monitor our back-end services. It all added up to the type of real-world experience that helps prepare engineers to contribute in meaningful ways to product portfolios.


When we went into production, I was proud of the team and myself, knowing that we were delivering on a mission to keep people safe.


If I ever had questions, there was always a team member happy to hop on a call to help me out. There were plenty of opportunities for social gatherings as well. Before the pandemic sent us all home for remote work in March 2020, we had “lunch trains” so no one had to eat alone, and every so often there would be an after-hours game night, which was a really fun way to hang out with the team. Plus, working in Boston, there was never a shortage of amazing food options to try. I grew up in Boston, but still, I was introduced to quite a few new ones (looking at you, Pita Thyme!)

Although we were suddenly working remote, and life was turned a bit upside down, Armored Things was able to use our platform to provide a new density alerting service to help bring our new normal into grasp. This was probably the coolest part of the internship for me. We were able to take our existing service and develop a solution to help venues reopen safely. That kind of innovation was really exciting to me. Even as an intern, I provided hands-on work to this project. When we went into production, I was proud of the team and myself, knowing that we were delivering on a mission to keep people safe.

I am extremely grateful for my time at Armored Things and for this opportunity to learn and grow. As I continue onwards to my senior year of undergrad, I find myself knowing more about which classes would be most valuable to my interests, and what their practical applications might be, thanks to the guidance I have received here. I am so thankful for the eight months I spent at Armored Things, and I am excited to continue my internship in a part-time role during my final year of school.

If I had one piece of advice to give engineering students, it would be to seek out a startup with a mission you believe in, and jump in. It’s a great way to build a career!

Hannah Reed is a computer science major at McGill University. She is currently in her fourth year.

What Is Operational Intelligence?

Imagine every day at work you are tasked with solving a thousand-piece puzzle. The success of your team is riding on your ability to assemble the disparate pieces as quickly as possible. Any indecision could lead to delays and cause confusion.

For many professionals, this is their reality. Every day they are faced with making sense of large volumes of data with only a moment of notice. In the end, a complete picture will be expected and hopefully, the puzzle wasn’t missing a piece.

Operational intelligence (OI) is a category of real-time analytics that enables professionals to solve large and complex puzzles with ease. By integrating information from a variety of sources, OI delivers analytic insights to optimize the decision-making process. When integrated with artificial intelligence, OI can be used to make predictions and automate actions based upon these insights.


HOW CAN I USE OPERATIONAL INTELLIGENCE?


Operational intelligence (OI) has a broad use of applications. Most frequently, OI is used to identify operational inefficiencies and risks that otherwise would have been buried by data. This enables organizations to strengthen existing processes by gaining a more accurate and complete understanding of their current operational performance.

OI is a crucial tool that can be used to add value to every facet of your organization from security to facilities management. As long as there is data and decisions to be made, OI can be used to empower people to solve puzzles faster and smarter for the benefit of the larger team.

For more on operations intelligence, subscribe to the Armored Insights monthly newsletter.

Employee Spotlight: Josh Hartley, Chief Architect

Josh Hartley, Chief Architect at Armored Things is a playful balance between fun and serious. Passionate about both programming and civil service, Josh has been a natural leader on Armored Things’ engineering team.

As a Chief Architect at Armored Things, Josh is responsible for collaborating with the rest of the engineering team to design and build Armored Things, physical security, and operations software.

“I tend to work as a hub for technical discussions, so I have a pretty deep insight on all of the individual projects,” he said. “In general, it’s really about communication and collaboration to ensure that we’re in sync and on track.”

Since he was a kid, Josh has always had an affinity for software development and enthusiasm for civil service – making him the perfect fit to lead Armored Thing’s mission-driven team.

“My skills lend me to software development, so I’ve always been searching for a way I can use my skills to help people solve real problems,” he said. “I think our solution is unique or I wouldn’t believe in it the same way.”

Before joining Armored Things, Josh worked at Carbon Black.

When asked how Armored Things has been different from his past experiences, he said, “I’ve never been in a situation in an early startup that has had quite the same business momentum. It is especially different that we have both some of the top business and technical minds.”

“Being able to see our team grow from only one person writing code to many people writing code has been my favorite thing about where we are as a company right now,” he continued.

For candidates looking to join Armored Things, Josh emphasizes the importance of demonstrating a willingness to learn and work hard. “I’m constantly learning and working on improving my skills, I think that is an essential quality in our team.”

When Josh isn’t at work, he is playing board games with his friends and fiance Audrey, cooking, and weightlifting.

If you want to learn more about internships and job opportunities at Armored Things, check out our careers page.