New York-based healthcare messaging company, Klara, announces the closing of its most recent funding round, adding $3 million in financing. This seed round is led by New York's Lerer Hippeau Ventures (early investors in Oscar Health, DoctorOnDemand, Casper, Giphy, Warby Parker, BuzzFeed, x.ai) and Project A Ventures from Berlin(early investors in Tictail, Lost My Name, Junomedical), with existing investors such as German VC Atlantic Labs (early investors in SoundCloud, EyeEm, Medigo, Clue) and Groupe Arnault (investors in Slack, NetFlix, Clue) also participating in the round.
Klara has created a HIPAA-compliant messaging platform for medical teams to centralize all patient-related communication into one place. The Klara team believes that messaging is beginning to revolutionize healthcare just as it has done in many other spaces. The new funding enables the company to pursue its vision to build the central nervous system of healthcare, connecting all medical providers, patients and other medical professionals such as pharmacies, labs and specialists together on one platform.
Founders Simon Bolz and Dr. Simon Lorenz launched Klara in early 2014 as a B2C telemedicine app and have since then successfully evolved the product into a B2B2C messaging platform. Its cloud-based web and mobile apps are used by hundreds of health systems across the US ranging from solo-provider practices, to modern pharmacy companies, large medical groups and enterprise-level hospitals. These teams communicate with tens of thousands of patients sending hundreds of thousands of messages every month.
SIMON BOLZ, CO-FOUNDER & CEO OF KLARA: "We see healthcare as a network, with doctors and patients being the most important nodes communicating with each other. If we want to digitize healthcare, we have to build something that both, medical staff and patients love using everyday to communicate. Providers and their staff are losing multiple hours per day being caught up in endless phone tag. Patients are frustrated by long hold times. Email as an alternative is not secure and fax is outdated. Messaging has turned out to be the perfect fabric to build this network, as it has already become the standard way to communicate in our personal and professional lives. We're very happy that we have the ideal investors on board to follow this vision."
TAYLOR GREENE, PARTNER AT LERER HIPPEAU VENTURES: "We noticed that patients were demanding more from their healthcare providers, and the providers were in search of more operational efficiency. Finding one platform that solves both of those problems, as Klara does, is pretty unique. I was first exposed to the platform while making a doctors appointment and it was so easy to use and seamless, that I had to find a way to track down the company and invest. That doesn't happen to me often."
UWE HORSTMANN, FOUNDING PARTNER AT PROJECT A: "Klara is a real game changer in the health market and a great addition to our digital health portfolio. With the new funding, its great product and team, Klara can now push forward under optimal conditions to become the central communication platform for the medical space and to truly revolutionize healthcare. We're looking forward to support the team in NYC and Berlin with our full operational support."
Current use cases are showing that Klara not only heavily increases efficiency but actually improves outcomes and quality of care by making healthcare a collaborative, transparent and accessible experience: "Klara fundamentally improved workflows in our practice, centralizing all patient related communication into one place. We talk to patients about appointments, results, pre- and post-visit instructions, medication, billing and much more. We also talk with colleagues about referral patients, with labs about test results and biopsy reports, and with pharmacists about medication questions, prior-authorizations and prescriptions. Klara has made everything super efficient, nothing falls between the cracks and patients are truly appreciating this new kind of access to my practice team," says DR. MARYANN MIKHAIL, A NEW YORK BASED DERMATOLOGIST who uses Klara for almost all her patients in her 30 staff Manhattan practice.
The mobile health market ("mHealth") is projected to hit $117 billion by 2020 and 86 percent of clinicians believe mobile apps will be central to patient health in that time frame, according to the newly released "State of the App Economy" report from ACT | The App Association. Health messaging is a key area of growth, according to a 2016 study conducted by mobile trade group Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF). A survey of 6,000 people from nine countries included in the report found that 66 percent of consumers have used a chat app to communicate with a business. Among SMS users, that number grows to 74 percent.