R-Pur (HEC Program) develops high-tech anti-pollution masks for urban cyclists. Their masks promise to filter 99,98% of particles in the air. They currently have 10 000 users worldwide and just announced a €2,5M funding round with Citizen Capital and family offices. Their objective is now to accelerate their growth with a focus in Asia where the need is higher. But, as many of us in Paris have noticed in the past two weeks, the need prevails in cities everywhere regardless of continent.
For anyone living in Paris, the past two weeks have been commute chaos in light of the transportation strikes. Commuters walk long distances to work; bike in oversaturated cycle lanes; and, of course, all of this is done in impenetrable traffic jams that exude the smell of exhaust fumes.
There always seems to be a startup proposing a solution for any kind of problem out there but, in the case of the strikes, no startup product is able to help. Except for R-Pur, a little bit.
We are all aware of the adverse effects of air pollution on our health outcomes. Some of us are even starting to realize its cognitive costs even though these are still under-emphasized. Recent studies indicate that on polluted days, chess players make more mistakes; stock market returns are lower; and politicians use less complex speech. Correlation doesn’t always mean causation but it doesn’t take much to convince people to protect themselves against air pollution. So, in light of the strikes and the dense traffic, it’s perhaps the time to finally get an R-Pur mask.