Two Saskatoon-based startups are teaming up to help restaurants improve their food temperature monitoring processes.
In this partnership, RCI will deliver its temperature monitoring services to 7shifts’ more than 40,000 clients.
Though RCI offers solutions for a number of industries, it said it’s primarily focused on cold chain logistics.
Co-founded by CEO Jeff Shirley and CTO Lance Pitka in 2017, RCI started out with developing a platform to track beehives being stolen, naming the product “BeeSecure.” In 2018, Shirley and Pitka redesigned BeeSecure to create a solution for the Government of Saskatchewan’s Innovation Challenge, originally meant to reduce crime.
RCI has expanded its product suite since then, building sensors and apps for a variety of purposes including temperature, GPS, moisture, humidity, and other data. It claims to offer “the world’s smallest LoRa [long range] GPS tracker” for valuable assets like company vehicles, equipment, and others.
In 2021, Edmonton-based Environmental Material Sciences awarded RCI with a multi-year engineering and development contract to develop LoRa sensors specific to its soil remediation technologies.
RCI also raised $700,000 in seed funding in 2021, which was led by Conexus Venture Capital with participation from Golden Opportunities Fund and Tribune Capital. It also receives support from Startup TNT.
Though RCI offers solutions for a number of industries, it said it’s primarily focused on cold chain logistics. The startup deploys its temperature monitoring solutions to grocers, restaurants, and pharmacies across North America and Europe.
According to RCI, its integration with 7shifts could help restaurants lessen food loss, automate the digitization of food safety compliance data, improve food quality due to temperature control monitoring, as well as reduce staff time spent collecting data on food temperatures in storage.
Conexus managing director Kyle Scott said this partnership between the two startups demonstrates the maturing innovation ecosystem in Saskatchewan, adding that they will become “increasingly more common as the ecosystem continues to mature.”
“There are no longer just ‘local SK businesses,’ but great international companies, founded in Saskatchewan,” Scott said.
Shirley echoed Scott, saying: “The fact that we are both based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan speaks to the quality of technology and innovation coming from our prairie province right here in Canada.”
7shifts’ restaurant team management platform offers capabilities for team communication, task management, and tip pooling. It previously secured $101.6 million CAD in Series C financing in 2022, which was led by SoftBank Vision.
7shifts’ partner ecosystem allows companies to join as integration partners or build restaurant technology tools using its API in the areas of point-of-sale systems, analytics, hiring, training, back office, and more.
Among some of the users of 7shifts’ platform include Union Square Hospitality, Bareburger, Boka Restaurant Group, Juice It Up!, and Hart House.