By: Rip Empson | January 27, 2014 (Featured on Tech Crunch)
If Esso puts a tiger in your tank then what does TigerText put into your mobile? Thanks to an infusion of $21 million in Series B, the company hopes to create “industrial grade” SMS for enterprises, allowing employees at big companies to share data and messages in a secure, encrypted environment.
The $21 million Series B financing was led by Shasta Ventures, which has invested in companies like Care.com, Zuora, and Zenprise. Joining Shasta in TigerText’s Series B were strategic investors OrbiMed, Reed Elsevier Ventures, and TELUS Corporation, along with returning Series A investors, Easton Capital, New Leaf Venture Partners, and New Science Ventures. The round brings the company’s total funding to just under $30 million.
While SMS is fast-becoming a staple both in and outside of the workplace to enable more efficient workflow, nowhere is there a greater need for real-time mobile communication tools than in the health industry. As the healthcare industry embraces technology in an effort to reduce its soaring costs, it is quickly moving to a adopt more patient-centric models, where providers will be judged on how well they can improve the outcomes of “We, The Patient.”
These outcomes are becoming increasingly dependent on fast and efficient communication between doctors and patients, and a secure, real-time mobile communication platform can help doctors to more effectively deliver the kind of care we all want. Not surprisingly then, TigerText CEO Brad Brooks says that upwards of 70% of healthcare enterprises are now regularly using SMS for workplace communication.
TigerText’s secure, regulation-compliant network and app have become popular in healthcare as a result, where SMS tools generally lack compliance and stand in violation of laws based on security and recipient authentication. Using the company’s app, staff and colleagues at any enterprise organization can securely message each other from any smartphone, tablet or computer within an environment that can be managed by the enterprise.
Because TigerText is addressing the increased proliferation of SMS in workplace communications, especially those where text messaging traditionally hasn’t been industry-compliant (and can pose data breach risks), Brooks says that the company has been able to achieve its third consecutive year of triple-digit sales growth.
In addition, TigerText is now working with 7 percent of Fortune 500 companies and dozens of the top hospitals in the U.S., and over the last two years, has signed on enterprise healthcare customers like Wellcon, Adventist Health, Hartford Healthcare, Hoag Health Network, University of Connecticut and Health Alliance, to name a few.
TigerText also recently made a significant tweak to its business model, adding a new freemium plan to its roster in October. With the addition of its new plan, TigerText combined its free, consumer-facing version and its paid, enterprise app into a single freemium solution. This means that there’s now just one version of the app available for anyone and everyone to download and start using. However, for the enterprise and for businesses that want additional controls over their secure SMS network, TigerText now offers the ability to upgrade a paid version offered at the same price point.
Brooks tells us that, during the eight weeks following the soft launch of its freemium product, the company has boarded over 10K businesses and, to date, more than three million users have downloaded its app to use its “patent-pending secure and ephemeral messaging” solutions.
For healthcare, the ability to access a simple, secure and HIPAA-compliant SMS platform has huge implications, allowing anyone in a practice with access to a smartphone or a computer to get up and running in under a minute. In a blog post this morning, Brooks gave some examples of the way that a few of the 3,000 healthcare facilities that have deployed TigerText are using the system to improve their business.
The Radiology and Emergency departments at a hospital in Southern California are saving an hour each day by reducing the number of phone calls they have to send by using the platform’s read and delivery notifications, while a medical practice network is saving over $50K/month by using TigerText’s group messaging functionality to improve care coordination. And Another private practice increased its referrals by 25 percent by using TigerText to help patients avoid duplicative tests, for example.
For more background on the TigerText funding from CEO Brad Brooks, find the blog post here.