Shark Tank is one of the most popular television shows on air today. Millions of people tune in to the show every time a new episode airs. There are a couple of reasons the show is so appealing:
- Innovation: People are naturally drawn to new, exciting products.
- Solutions: Shark Tank entrepreneurs often produce solutions like nothing ever seen before.
- Success: It’s also enjoyable to watch as the shark investors help entrepreneurs make their dreams come true.
If you’re like me, you’ve often dreamt about what it would be like to become a shark. You’d love to get involved in an innovative product in the early stages that has the potential to change the status quo. I may have found such an opportunity in a stock known as SOBRsafe™ (NASDAQ: SOBR).
What Is SOBRsafe?
SOBRsafe is a publicly traded company that’s dedicated to promoting safety in the workplace by addressing a major problem – alcohol use. This is a crtitical issue that costs American employers and insurers tens of billions of dollars per year.
How does SOBRsafe address the workplace alcohol use problem?
The company developed a proprietary solution known as SOBRcheck™ that looks similar to a computer mouse. When employees get to work, they place their index and middle fingers over the sensors in the device. One sensor performs a biometric scan to confirm the identity of the employee while the other tests the vapor emitted from the employee’s skin for alcohol.
If the employee has been drinking, the device relays the information to the proper parties via a powerful software back end so the issue can be addressed according to corporate policy.
Why This Technology Is Important
SOBRsafe’s technology can save lives and money. Currently, more than 95,000 people die each year in the United States due to excessive alcohol use. Moreover, American employers and insurers spend $63 billion per year on alcohol-related injuries, deaths, and productivity losses. Check out the stats below to see how important SOBRsafe’s technology really is.
Alcohol has proven to be a substantial issue in the workplace. Here are some workplace alcohol use stats that you may find shocking:
- 47% (nearly half) of workplace injuries are linked to alcohol use.
- Workers with an alcohol problem are 270% more likely to be involved in a workplace accident.
- At least 11% of workplace fatality victims test positive for alcohol.
SOBRsafe is also an important product from an insurance standpoint. In fact, companies that employ the device may receive discounted premiums. Here’s why:
- Between 38% and 50% of workers’ compensation claims are the direct result of substance abuse.
- Substance abusers use employee health benefits three times more than other employees.
- Substance abusers experience three times the medical costs of average consumers.
- SOBRsafe customers have experienced up to a 20% insurance savings upon SOBRcheck installation.
Areas Where SOBRsafe Can Make a Significant Impact
In my opinion, SOBRsafe’s technology can create a meaningful impact in just about any workplace. However, there are some industries where the company’s technology represents the most meaningful opportunities.
There are several applications for the SOBRcheck, and the company is already taking advantage of one of them. People on probation for alcohol-related crimes are often required to take a breathalyzer test when they meet their probation officers. This can lead to problems like:
- Breathalyzers aren’t always convenient.
- Burping, hiccupping, or vomiting before the test can lead to high readings even if the person didn’t drink any alcohol.
- Certain diets can lead to false-positive breathalyzer readings.
- High breath temperatures can increase alcohol readings by 10% to 20%.
Some justice departments around the country are already combatting these issues by implementing SOBRcheck in their probation offices. As the technology proves effective, this trend is likely to grow.
School Bus Drivers
118 school bus drivers have been arrested for DUIs since 2015 – and that’s only the ones the police caught, likely the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, more than one-third of those violations led to accidents, many of which resulted in the hospitalization of student passengers.
Beyond the 118 school bus drivers that were caught driving impaired, 260 drivers either failed or refused post-route alcohol tests. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that there’s little-to-no clarity in terms of keeping a record of the severity of issues or even impaired driver identification.
SOBRsafe solves both of these problems. With SOBRcheck, school districts can ensure that their drivers haven’t consumed any alcohol. When the device does detect alcohol use, it’s connected to the internet of things (IoT), making good record-keeping an automatic process.
Alcohol wreaks havoc on the construction industry as well. In fact, more than 20% of construction accidents are directly related to alcohol consumption. Not to mention, about 12% of construction workers have an alcohol use disorder, significantly higher than the 7.5% national average.
Construction companies that use SOBRcheck can reduce the risk of their workers being involved in such accidents. Moreover, the introduction of the technology into their businesses will likely result in insurance savings that offset the cost of the introduction.
Managing a fleet can be concerning, especially when 56,000 commercial drivers were charged with substance abuse violations in 2020 alone. Not to mention, there were 24,000 alcohol-related fatalities involving heavy and light-heavy trucks in the same year.
Companies that manage a fleet of vehicles and drivers can benefit greatly by incorporating SOBRcheck into their day-to-day activities.
Logistics & Warehousing
10% of logistics and warehouse workers are heavy drinkers. At the same time, there are around 856,000 forklift operators across the country with about 11% of them involved in an accident each year.
SOBRcheck can help reduce the occurrence of forklift accidents across the United States, not only saving companies money but saving lives in the process.
The rehabilitation sector was worth nearly a quarter trillion dollars last year and is expected to continue growing at a massive rate. Although companies in this sector treat patients for alcohol use disorders, they lack non-invasive, yet accurate tools for assessing alcohol use in their patients.
Their forthcoming wearable band SOBRsure™ has already been embraced within the rehab industry, garnering a purchase order for 1,150 bands while still in pre-sale mode.
The Market Opportunity Is Tremendous
When I look for an investment opportunity, I like to look for opportunities that hit three nails on the head:
- They address a massive market.
- They solve a problem that desperately needs a solution.
- They have little-to-no competition.
SOBRsafe seems to hit all of these.
There’s a meaningful place for SOBRcheck in just about any industry and there’s no question that the product solves a problem that desperately needs a solution. After all, it has the potential to save lives, keep children safe on their commute to and from school, and save corporations significant amounts of money in insurance premiums.
Not to mention, the product addresses multiple industries, some worth hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Sure, there’s competition from the status quo, the breathalyzer, but that’s like comparing apples to oranges. Breathalyzers are known for inaccuracy and are far from convenient. SOBRcheck technology from SOBRsafe has the potential to turn the alcohol detection industry upside down with no apples-to-apples competitors in sight.
Is Dilution Ahead?
Any time I invest in a small company, I like to make sure they’re well capitalized. After all, if they need to raise money in the near term, dilution slashes the value of my investment. The good news is that when it comes to SOBRsafe, there’s no need for dilution any time soon.
In fact, in late October 2022, SOBRsafe announced that its cash reserves exceeded $10 million as a result of $6 million in financing and $3 million in warrant exercises on top of the cash the company already had on hand. That’s enough money for the company to execute its business model at least through the end of 2023. In fact, Dave Gandini, CEO at SOBRsafe, had the following to say about the company’s financial position:
“We are pleased that our institutional investors continue to demonstrate confidence in and support for our technology, business plan and customer adoption. This cash on hand empowers us to accelerate the building of our national sales team and gives us the opportunity to ‘pull forward’ value-added features that drive increased margin and key differentiation in the detection market. Finally, we believe we have the cash to fully implement and execute on our business plan in 2023 and beyond.”
2023 is Poised to Be a Big Year for SOBRsafe
SOBRsafe is already generating revenue, but like any other company, it plans to generate much more. In the year ahead, the company is working on minting relationships that expose its products to a wider audience while building a sales team to do more of the same.
At the same time, the company’s products are already being used in the justice and managed care industries. As they prove effective, they’re likely to expand further within these sectors. All told, 2023 is likely to be an exciting year for SOBRsafe.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is that SOBRsafe is a compelling investment opportunity. The company has the potential to play a substantial role in solving the alcohol-related workplace accident problem across the United States while creating better outcomes in the rehabilitation and probation categories.
Although there are always risks to consider when you invest, especially in early-stage companies like SOBRsafe, this stock and the potential it brings to an investment portfolio are hard to ignore.
Disclosure: CNA Finance is not an investment advisor or broker-dealer. This article was written by Joshua Rodriguez and expresses his personal opinion of SOBRsafe but should not be construed as a solicitation to buy, sell, or otherwise trade any specific security. This is a sponsored article and should not be considered investment advice. Investing comes with risk and CNA Finance strongly advises investors to seek advice from licensed professionals before making any investment decisions.