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The company works with healthcare organizations to help them integrate APIs into their EMR systems
In June, Bridge Connector, a provider of an integration platform (iPaaS) as a service platform for healthcare companies, raised a $4.5 million round of funding. Part of the goal going forward, Bridge Connector CEO David Wenger told me at the time, was to grow enough to build up its team to 45 employees by the end of the year.
A little less than three months later, the company has already achieved that milestone, so now it's already back with a new funding round to build its team out even further, adding developers, sales representatives, and support staff to all three of its offices.
On Tuesday, the company announced that it raised another $5.5 million investment in Series A funding, led by Axioma Ventures LLC, which is backed by Howard Jenkins, former CEO of Publix Super Markets and current Chief Strategy Officer at Bridge Connector.
This round brings the company's total funding to $10 million.
"We’ve hired 20 additional people since our last round, so we’re at around 45 right now. The goal is to be at around 100 within the next six months. Basically, all that’s fueling this growth is our demand for the product and our partnerships," Wenger told me in an interview.
"We’re trying to do it the right way; we’re not hiring just to hire, we’re not raising money just to raise money. We actually are trying to facilitate the way that healthcare communicates and, in doing that, we need to have a very deep staff of healthcare experts and people that want to be part of something that can hopefully change a market eventually."
Founded in 2017, and headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with additional offices in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee, Bridge Connector works with organizations such as nursing homes, post-acute care facilities, addiction treatment and behavioral health facilities, hospitals, MRI and radiology imaging facilities and labs to help them integrate different APIs into their electronic medical record (EMR) systems.
Bridge Connector is an app partner with Salesforce and, through that relationship, works closely with the company's clients, helping them to integrate Salesforce with whatever other systems they are using.
The service launched around a year ago and now has about 30 clients.
While the iPaaS space as a whole has been targeted toward solutions where companies have to hire developers to build out their integrations, Bridge Connector, instead, simplifies the process by not requiring companies to spend that additional money, Wenger explained
"What’s unique about Bride Connector is we don't require a full-time IT team to be on staff for our clients, we’re full service and we’re affordable. There’s no up front fees, there’s no CapEx expenditures, ever. It’s all rolled into an affordable monthly price depending on the size of the organization and the number of integrations we’re doing," he said. "We do it on a full service approach, meaning the client we sign doesn't have to touch any aspect of the code. They don’t need to hire a developer, an IT team, to manage the integration. All they need to do is give us access to their systems and allow us to connect them, and Bridge Connector is able to do that quickly and efficiently."
That aspect of the service also allows for smaller organizations, not just those at the enterprise level, to also take advantage of Bridge Connector's platform, as it cuts out that addition expense.
"We’re trying to truly create a solution, as part of our subscription model, that can work for any size healthcare organization; not just hospitals, not just the large enterprise level clients, we want to be able to work with everyone and help everyone facilitate their data flows."
In addition to building out the team, the new funding will also go toward further developing the Bridge Connector product, including giving clients more analytics, as well as a dashboard so they can track their facilities, see how many patients were admitted, and how much time was saved per employee.
"Our current investors are very dedicated to our quick growth and they want us to grow the platform and the team as fast as possible so that we can meet the demand for the product, but also expand and improve the product. Part of our core value here as a company is continuous improvement and one of the things we’re really focused on is, sure we have a really great product right now, a really great platform, but what can we do to expand that even deeper?" said Wenger.
Building out the product will also include "different types of partnerships," where Bridge Connect will be growing the product outside of just integration, wrapping other products around its integration strategy by "basically being able to come up with a product and automatically tie it into any other platform out there."
"That’s a big need, especially in the referral management space and in the smart devices and labs billing, you name it. These healthcare organizations have multiple systems that they need to connect. The electronic medical records side of it is just one of them and we’re trying to be able to have a full circle approach to our integration strategy."
Going forward, Bridge Connector is looking to achieve what Wenger calls "critical mass," though he admits that, "it’s going to take a while for us to get there."
"Healthcare is a big, big animal, and we’ve done a really good job of getting traction, gathering partnerships and all those great things, but for us to ultimately reach critical mass, I’m not going to judge it based on the market share that we get, I’m going to judge that based on how many people are using our system, how much data is flowing through our system. Is Bridge Connector a household name in healthcare? That’s the goal, to make Bridge Connector a name that every single company in healthcare knows and is thinking about using or has used before," he said.
"We want to provide value to our customers. We’re not just worried about finding clients, we want to make sure we deliver and execute to the best of our ability for our clients, and make sure that they’re extremely satisfied utilizing our services. Ultimately, if they’re happy with us that means that their business is succeeding and that they’re making more money than they were before and they’re taking care of patients. At the end of day, there’s a lot of business in healthcare but the most important thing is taking care of people that need help and by enabling this data to be able to be sent back and forth, it not only frees up employee’s time but it also can drive revenue to fuel jobs and expansion for these other healthcare companies."
What Wenger really emphases, though, is the team, which he says is what will really allow the company to get the traction it needs to break through, and which is also why this funding round is so important to Bridge Connector's future.
"I have to give a call out to my team. The team we have here, my partner Judson, and a lot of the people we have inside this organization worked day and night, tirelessly, to help deliver this product and to help take it where we want to go," he said.
"We’ve been able to hire some people from some very big healthcare companies that are on board now that walked in the door and have just been very impressed by what they’ve seen. The second that an employee walks through the door at Bridge Connector we want them to be able to provide value. We are hiring people that can come in and are ready to go and these people are coming in from these big organizations and jumping right in and are very excited."
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Healthcare communication has been complicated for too long.
Strict regulations, systems with different standards, internal political battles, and many other factors contribute to the disparity that so often occurs with healthcare organizations.
This complexity creates inefficiency, wasted time, archaic methods of communication, and at worst, miscommunications regarding patient data.
Bridge Connector offers a simple, affordable solution to connect disparate systems in healthcare. It’s healthcare integration, simplified.