Norwest Venture Partners invests in ClearDATA

Bambi Francisco Roizen · March 27, 2012 · Short URL:

Two-year-old start-up gets Series A to transform healthcare IT industry

The other day at my doctor's office (only two physicians on staff), I was asked to fill out some information as the office was moving its records from paper form to electronic. It reminded me that the healthcare industry is still way behind in its efforts to go digital. 

The opportunity to transform the healthcare industry to the digital world, however, is being embraced by ClearDATA, which announced late Tuesday that it's raised a Series A round from Norwest Venture Partners, and some angel investors.

ClearDATA, which was founded in 2009, and whose product launched in 2010, serves small- to medium-sized hospitals, clinics and physyican groups. Its main service is to provide manage hosting services so its clients can store their healthcare records. Basically, if you're a hospital or clinic and need to store your records securely, have back-up and disaster-recovery capabilities, HIPAA-compliant, and 100% uptime to access them, you'd likely consider ClearDATA. Other generalist hosting solutions, such as Rackspace and Amazon, might be alternative choices, but ClearDATA focuses solely on the healthcare IT space and also offers both a Rackspace and Amazon solution, according to Darin Brannan, CEO of ClearDATA, in an interview with me.

Regardless of who's offering the hosting services, the move toward cloud-services appears to be yielding a lot of savings for the healthcare industry.

"By moving from a traditional enterprise offering to the ClearDATA offering, a client could see a 50% to 60% savings over two years," said Robert Abbott, a partner at Norwest Venture Partners, in an interview with me.   

The cost savings has certainly been one of the drivers in the transformation of the industry.

"It was expected that it would take 10 to 20 years for the healthcare industry to [fully move] to electronic medical records," said Brannan. "In the last three years, it's gone from 5% [of hospitals, clinics storing data electronically] to 25%. It's expected to be 80% to 90% in the next five years."

There have been many reasons for this adoption, Brannan explaind. From Obama Care to the adoption of tablets, these have been drivers to transforming the industry from paper records to electronic medical records. In addition, there is a move from client-server to cloud services. These two big macro trends are the reasons behind Brannan's enthusiasm for the space and hence his involvement with ClearDATA, which he joined last year when it was just a four-person team. To him, it was essentially a start-up.

Brannan has some experience starting a company and leading it to massive exits. Prior to ClearDATA, he founded two other NVP-backed companies, Verio, which went public and then was acquired by NTT for $5.5 billion in 2000. He also founded and took Website Pros public. Both companies were foundationally cloud-hosting companies, Brannan said.  

(Image source: executivehm)

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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Darin Brannan

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Experience as a venture capitalist, serial entreprenuer, public company executive, and angel investor. Founder of Verio and, launched ViaNet while at Verio.

Robert Abbott

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Robert joined Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) in 1998 and is focused on a wide variety of investment categories including mobile, online advertising, infrastructure and systems.