Google’s Gradient Ventures co-leads $15m investment in Klara

21 Aug 2020

From left: Simon Lorenz and Simon Bolz. Image: Klara

As interest in telemedicine solutions soars as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Google’s Gradient Ventures has made its latest investment in patient engagement platform Klara.

On Thursday (20 August), New York-based healthcare start-up Klara announced that it has raised $15m in a round co-led by Frist Cressey Ventures and Google’s AI-focused fund, Gradient Ventures.

The start-up also received further backing from existing investors including FirstMark Capital, Lerer Hippeau, Project A and Stage 2 Capital.

Co-founded by Simon Bolz and Simon Lorenz, the start-up has built a patient engagement tool for use in doctor’s offices and other clinical practices. The technology has been built specifically to support both in-person and virtual patient journeys.

Klara’s digital health solution

Klara’s platform enables medical organisations to provide patients with a unique experience through intuitive communication, streamlined workflows and easy-to-access virtual visits.

The technology integrates the customer’s electronic health records (EHR) and practice management (PM) system to automate routine workflows across the patient journey, including scheduling, pre-visit instructions, reminders, intake, no-show engagement, follow-up and more.

Darian Shirazi, general partner at Gradient Ventures, said: “As the world embraces remote interactions and work, physicians and medical practices are increasingly adopting new forms of digital communications with patients.

“The team at Klara has built an incredible product that delights doctors, patients and operators within practices worldwide. While the telemedicine market expands more rapidly than ever before, we’re excited to partner with Klara as they develop automated and intelligent solutions for the next generation of healthcare.”

Funding plans

With the latest investment, Klara plans to grow its team, further enhance its core product and build out AI-driven automation, including fully integrated patient intake, payments and more.

The firm said it plans to continue to grow its capabilities to enable multiple healthcare organisations such as practices, pharmacies and labs to jointly communicate with patients in one place, with the goal of making healthcare truly collaborative and less siloed.

According to Klara, the start-up has tripled its user base and usage since the Covid-19 pandemic began earlier this year.

Bolz, co-CEO and co-founder of the start-up, said: “We founded Klara to transform how patients and providers communicate, as that is the single most important element of the doctor-patient relationship. Focusing on communication first has given us a strong foundation to add other rich experiences such as electronic forms, scheduling and reminders.

“Now, our automation of many routine workflows is fundamentally changing how healthcare organisations operate. All in all, our product is delivering tremendous value and time savings to providers, staff and patients – and there’s so much more we can do.”

Lorenz added: “With expert guidance on artificial intelligence and large scale market access from our new investors, we’re in a unique position to continue building the best product for our customers, and have a real impact on the healthcare system as a whole.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic