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Exclusive: IAC's Vivian Health scores $60M Thoma-led investment

Sarah Pringle
Apr 26, 2022
Illustration of a nurse's scrubs, stethoscope and mask, standing with no nurse inside them.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Thoma Bravo is leading a $60 million investment in Vivian Health, joining IAC (NASDAQ: IAC) as an investor in the health care-exclusive online jobs marketplace, the parties tell Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: As America's population ages, the health care industry is facing a major labor crisis. Vivian helps employers fill their jobs more efficiently, and provides health care professionals with improved access to attractive job opportunities.

  • With the industry poised to be short 3 million workers by 2026, Vivian claims it fills open jobs up to 50% faster than its competitors, reducing costs up to 80%.
  • "Part of what we need to be able to do as a company and society is figure out how to serve health care workers better," founder Parth Bhakta tells Axios.

Details: Thoma led the $60 million primary and secondary equity investment in Vivian, joined by IAC and Collaborative Fund. IAC remains the company's majority owner.

  • The capital infusion gives Vivian greater financial wherewithal to scale organically and support M&A ambitions.
  • M&A is likely to involve technology, tools or services that will either help it gain access to more types of employers or help its product stick, he notes.
  • "We want to cover every single health care worker and health care employer," Bhakta says.

How it works: Vivian works almost like a "LinkedIn for health care", Bhakta says, connecting clinicians with both staffing agencies (including 8 of the nation's 10 largest) and major health systems.

  • The startup was built around the concept of a universal health care-centric profile that is employer-agnostic, hence eliminating what Bhakta describes as a painstaking process of uploading credentials or licenses for each job application.
  • By serving as a "a passport to clinicians' health care career", Bhakta says clinicians using Vivian can, within seconds, qualify for job opportunities while recruiters can instantly engage with candidates.

By the numbers: Vivian facilitates 15% of the country's travel nursing placements, equating to $1.5 billion in annualized labor spend.

  • Under IAC's backing since 2019, Vivian has grown revenue by 45x, facilitating 3 million-plus job applications.
  • More than 700,000 clinicians in the U.S. are registered to use Vivian's platform to secure work.
  • 146 employer partners — including staffing agencies and health systems — rely on its marketplace.

Catch up quick: Vivian, formerly known as NurseFly, rebranded last year as it expanded beyond travel nursing and into listings for permanent positions, per diem shifts and local openings.

  • IAC, a holding company of more than 150 digital products and brands, acquired the startup at a $15 million price tag in 2018, TechCrunch reported at the time.

One fun thing: Bhakta, a former angel investor, co-founded Vivian with Eric Connor in late 2017, inspired by experiences of Connor's then-fiancé as a travel nurse.

  • There was no clarity around the market rate for nurse staffing positions at the time, he says: "We were a bit disillusioned by that."

The bottom line: Reducing friction in the hiring process may help alleviate the pace of health care professionals leaving the industry.

  • "Being able to match a clinician to a better job opportunity is going to be crucial to reducing burnout," Bhakta says.
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