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Tebra snags $72M to be clinics' virtual backbone

Illustration of a spine with the vertebrae made out of dollars.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

With bold plans to be the definitive digital backbone for clinics, medical software company Tebra on Thursday raised $72 million in funding at a valuation of more than $1 billion.

"We aim to be the most complete platform for health care practices and we plan to pursue growth both organically and through acquisitions," Tebra co-founder and CEO Dan Rodrigues tells Axios.

Why it matters: The raise, which catapulted Tebra to unicorn status, capitalizes on a surge of investor interest in health tech enablement and follows Tebra's formation from a merger last fall.

Backstory: Based in Newport Beach, Calif., Tebra is the product of a tie-up between medical software developer Kareo and health care marketing company PatientPop.

What they're saying: Rodrigues tells Axios that once the Kareo-PatientPop integration is complete, he plans to use the funds for future mergers — all of which could tee-up Tebra to become the one digital backbone to rule them all.

How it works: Tebra offers clinics a suite of tools that combines the capabilities of marketing-focused PatientPop and medical record-focused Kareo including those for patient messaging and scheduling, telehealth and billing.

Context: Digital health infrastructure is a hot sub-sector of the overall health tech industry, with companies that support small startups and hospital giants alike raking in recent funding.

  • Supporting digital health startups including Capable Health, Wheel and Zus Health have attracted investor attention of late.
  • Supporting legacy health systems and clinics include Olive, which last raised $400 million at a $4 billion valuation, and Rhyme (FKA PriorAuthNow), which recently raised $25 million.

The intrigue: Most of the companies supporting health systems and clinics offer only a small piece of the digital enablement puzzle, leaving a window of opportunity for a company like Tebra to dominate.

  • Some, such as Rhyme, help streamline treatment approvals.
  • Others, such as Notable, help with patient scheduling.

Deal details: Golub Capital's Late State Lending team led the investment, which included growth equity and debt financing.

  • OpenView Venture Partners, Stripes Group, Montreux Growth Partners, Toba Capital and Vivo Capital also participated.
  • The new capital brings Tebra's total funding to $137 million.
  • Tebra says it now supports more than 100,000 providers, of which 800 are actively using its combined Kareo-PatientPop operating system.

One fun thing: The combined companies' name is an homage to the word vertebrae as the company aims to become clinics' digital spine.

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