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Exclusive: Florence pushes $20M seed for ER intake tools

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Patient intake and tracking startup Florence collected $20 million in seed capital, CEO Aniq Rahman tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Hospitals are buckling under the weight of the pandemic, with staffing shortages and rising demand lengthening emergency room wait times — and more patients are leaving the ER before even being seen by a provider.

Deal details: Thrive Capital, GV and Salesforce Ventures led the round with Vast Ventures, BoxGroup and Atento Capital participating.

  • Rahman says Florence will use the fresh funds to hire people focused on engineering, design and product.
  • He doesn't anticipate the company raising a Series A for "at least three to four years."

How it works: The New York City-based company offers health systems digital intake and tracking tools that help patients update their clinical information, fill prescriptions, initiate self-discharge and book follow-up visits.

  • Florence charges health systems for its subscription-based service, which is tiered based on patient volume.
  • The company currently working with 40 health systems, including academic medical centers, rural and for-profit hospitals and not-for-profit health systems including Luminis Health in Maryland.

What they're saying: "If you were a health system 20 years ago, your competition was the other hospital in town," Rahman says.

  • "Today it's Amazon, Walgreens, Walmart. Everybody is going after your patient. It's an imperative for health systems to consumerize," he adds.

State of play: Venture and private equity investors have poured money into patient tracking software and other tools designed to streamline the intake, discharge and visit scheduling process. For example:

  • Tebra, the product of a tie-up between medical software developer Kareo and health care marketing company PatientPop, last summer collected $72 million at a valuation of more than $1 billion.
  • Vital, a provider of patient experience software, earlier this month raised $24.7 million in Series B funding.
  • Klara, a developer of patient engagement software and front desk automation tools, was acquired by Warburg Pincus-backed Modernizing Medicine through an LBO last February.

🎨 One fun thing: Florence is both an homage to nurse Florence Nightingale and to Florence, Italy, known as the birthplace of the Renaissance.

  • "I want to build a company symbolic of the renaissance in health care," says Rahman.
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