Kairos Lands $500K To Bring Facial Recognition Tech To Employee Time Clocks

Kairos, a startup that launched earlier this year out of the Spring 2012 class of the NewMe Accelerator, has landed $500,000 in seed funding from a group of angel backers.

The money will be put toward launching Kairos’ flagship app TimeClock, which launches in beta today. TimeClock uses facial recognition technology to identify employees paid on an hourly basis when they clock in on the job. This is aimed at eliminating “buddy punching,” which is when people clock in on behalf of their coworkers for time they did not actually work.

As harmless as buddy punching might sound (and feel, especially when you’re a teenager working for $5/hour at Dairy Queen, not that I would know anything about that) studies indicate that this practice can cost an employer as much as six percent of its annual payroll. So Kairos could really be onto something here with TimeClock, especially when it comes to small businesses that need to monitor every dollar they spend.

Kairos says it has already lined up 51 businesses to participate in its beta launch, from small stores, to supermarkets, to hospitals and consulting firms. We’re hearing that home renovation mega chain Lowe’s could be its next big-name client, though those talks are still ongoing.

Currently Kairos has 19 staff between its headquarters in Miami and a satellite office in London, and the company’s co-founder Amanda McClure tells me that the new money will partially be put toward hiring. Kairos’ investors are angel backers including Burgeon Consulting CEO Christopher Alden, WFC Group CEO Neil Shah, and Jeremiah Tolbert, among others.

We first had the chance to meet Amanda McClure and her co-founder Brian Brackeen during a visit to the NewMe Accelerator startup house earlier this year. Watch the video below to see McClure give us an early intro to Kairos’ technology — her interview starts at 9:23: