The following is a Q&A with Geoffrey Nudd, Founder and CEO of ClearCare, and Chelsea Stoner of Battery Ventures, on our recent announcement that Battery Ventures led a $60M investment into ClearCare.
Q: Chelsea, why ClearCare and why the home care industry?
Battery Ventures tries to invest in businesses that are considered strong performers in their markets. We consider companies strong performers according to various metrics, from number and type of customers to revenue to market share. ClearCare is a strong performer in its market based on its number of customers, but we were also drawn to its stellar team, easy-to-use product and the overall opportunity for growth. ClearCare's customers may say it best: “I can’t even imagine using another product.” “They are always rolling out something that is going to make my life better.” “They are our lifeline.” Even among the other top performing companies that we’ve worked with in the past, ClearCare has a very large number of ardent customer fans.
Why home care? Our team has invested time and money in the post acute care continuum, and we wanted to do it again. We recently exited an investment with Brightree, a software company serving the home medical equipment space, that grew revenue 13x through organic growth and by acquiring 6 companies. The focus on helping solve a lot of problems for the home medical equipment providers was a lot of fun and rewarding. Frankly we wanted to be back in the post acute healthcare technology.
Q: Geoff, what does this mean for ClearCare customers?
We plan to invest even more in product innovation to help our home care agency partners solve their biggest challenges. With additional hires like Balki Nakshatrala, who most recently was VP of Engineering at MasterCard, we’re poised for solving more of the challenges our home care agencies tell us they need help with.
Q: Chelsea, Brightree grew organically and through acquisitions. Are acquisitions something that ClearCare is open to?
In verticals like home care, we find that companies want fewer, better, trusted providers to help manage their business. With Brightree, we identified products and services that home medical equipment providers were already purchasing that could be better delivered when tethered to the primary Brightree platform. The key is the platform -- it has to be strong and have a reputation for having quality, where the customer will trust additional bundled services. ClearCare already has additional service integrations, so the proof that they are a platform play has already started. We’re certainly open to growing by a combination of adding new home care agencies to the platform, helping those agencies grow, and providing additional services by building it ourselves, or via acquisition or partnering with other best-in-class providers.
Q: Geoff, there’s been a lot of buzz about tech-based competitors that have raised a lot of capital entering the home care space. Is this investment a response to that?
This is a massive market that will allow for multiple competitors. We hear about ‘tech-first’ competitors, but our vision isn’t focused on responding to these. We believe the locally owned business model is the secret sauce that makes home care thrive. When entrepreneurs quit their corporate job or cash in their 401k to open a home care agency, a lot is on the line! That is a level of responsibility that you can only get with an owner-operator model, and it raises the bar for critical quality and service expectations. It’s part of what will ensure that owner responds to a discharge planner or family member at 9pm on a Friday night, and will do whatever it takes to make sure that the senior gets the care he or she needs. We are huge believers in the locally owned and operated home care model. Both Battery Ventures and ClearCare have placed a massive bet on helping those home care agency owners succeed. That’s been our vision all along. With more than $5.6 billion raised since inception, Battery Ventures is an established, long-term investor, and having the firm as part of our team adds tremendous financial and operational depth behind ClearCare.