PathSpot: A Scan Away From Safer Food Service

A smart device that detects invisible foodborne contaminants

hand contaminant checker PathSpot
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2 min

Alumni Ventures portfolio company PathSpot has developed a smart device that detects invisible foodborne contaminants in real time to prevent germ spread and reduce ongoing health risks.

There are 48 million cases of foodborne illness each year, with 128,000 individuals hospitalized and 3,000 deaths. In restaurants, food handlers are responsible for spreading germs that cause 90% of foodborne illness outbreaks. Unfortunately, it only takes one outbreak to deeply damage a restaurant financially, including lost revenue, fines, lawsuits, legal fees, insurance premium increases, inspection costs, and staff retraining.

Enter Alumni Ventures portfolio company PathSpot, developer of a smart device that detects invisible foodborne contaminants in real time to prevent germ spread and reduce ongoing health risks. The company provides data insights on sanitation and food safety to brands across the food service ecosystem — from restaurants to packaging and manufacturing facilities, cafeterias, and farms — covering anywhere food is handled, stored, or served.

A Polished Business Model

PathSpot’s device detects contamination behind foodborne pathogens, helps prevent illnesses, and saves businesses money. In addition, PathSpot charges licensing fees at a reasonable monthly cost for customers to access insightful data via its proprietary platform. The company has also expanded into a full safety suite of products for the back-of-house health and safety operating system, including smart thermometers, waste management tools, food safety checking, and wellness checking for employees.

PathSpot aims to become an industry standard by saving businesses time and money on training resources, food safety audits, missed days, and insurance. The company is unique compared to other food safety and sensor/scanning companies as none currently focus on food handling and integrating each component of the safety ecosystem. Furthermore, with the company’s large and growing body of data and a machine learning algorithm, PathSpot has a considerable competitive advantage.

Opportune Timing and Strong Customer Contracts

On average, food safety outbreaks cost a food service establishment between $~6,000 to $2 million. With sanitation concerns being at an all-time high following the COVID-19 pandemic, PathSpot is well-positioned to meet the need for early detection and prevention of foodborne contaminants. As a result, the company has already welcomed many substantial customer contracts (pizza, coffee, sushi, etc.), protecting brands from every part of the food supply, with many more in the pipeline. PathSpot is very focused on larger enterprises where the data helps save team time and costs, making them less susceptible to market downturns.

How We Are Involved

Towerview Ventures (for the Duke community) is sponsoring Alumni Ventures’ investment in PathSpot alongside sibling fund Purple Arch Ventures (for the Northwestern community) and AV’s Total Access Fund.

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Contact [email protected] for additional information. To see additional risk factors and investment considerations, visit