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Abridge scores $150M Series C as race to save doctor's appointment heats up

Feb 23, 2024
Illustration of the tape coming out of an audio cassette in the shape of a red cross.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

As the race to save the doctor's appointment heats up, clinical documentation company Abridge scored $150 million in Series C funds.

Why it matters: Coming on the heels of Abridge's Series B last fall, the hefty raise reflects strong investor interest in ambient tech companies looking to ease doctors' note-taking burden.

Zoom in: Lightspeed Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures led the round.

  • CVS Health Ventures, Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and Wittington Ventures participated.

What's next: Abridge will use new funding to research potential use-cases for its tech, as well as recruit more academics and machine learning engineers, CEO Shivdev Rao tells Erin.

  • Asked when Abridge will raise a Series D, Rao says, "It's not even anywhere in my brain."

How it works: The Pittsburgh-based company boasts a proprietary large-language model, information extraction technology and speech recognition technology.

  • Its tools are currently offered in 14 languages across 55 medical specialties. The company raised $30 million in Series B funds in October 2023.

What they're saying: "Abridge has done a really good job of building really close ties with [electronic health vendors including] Epic from a product development perspective and generally from a commercial perspective," says Lightspeed Venture Partners partner Sebastian Duesterhoeft.

  • "The goal is really to make the EHR better than it is today," he adds.

Reality check: Abridge and a slew of rivals face their most acute foe in Microsoft-owned Nuance, the market giant in clinical documentation.

  • "Nuance is the 800-pound gorilla everywhere," says Duesterhoeft.

Between the lines: Clinical documentation tools occupy a sensitive and important space in medicine, as they collect and transcribe personal health information core to patient care.

  • A trained cardiologist and former vice president of clinical innovation at UPMC Enterprises, Rao founded Abridge to "unburden people from what burdens our souls as clinicians — that clerical work," he tells Axios.

State of play: A cadre of lucrative clinical documentation players have drawn investor funds.

  • Ambience Healthcare — which, like Abridge, bills itself as an AI operating system for health care organizations — earlier this month collected $70 million in Series B funds co-led by Kleiner Perkins and the OpenAI Startup Fund.
  • Nabla, a Parisian developer of an AI-powered clinical note generation tool, in January raised $24 million in Series B financing.
  • Voice-based medical assistant Suki at the close of 2021 collected $55 million in Series C funds.

💭 Our thought bubble: Abridge and its peers are developing technological solutions addressing problems created by legacy EHR technology — an irony that isn't lost on us.

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