Startups

Software company Keriton, used in NICUs, raised $1M for its post-pandemic growth plans

Its app to track breastmilk and formula feedings in NICUs is getting a big client and expanding its team in early 2023, CEO Rich Mager said.

Keriton's app. (Courtesy image)

Like many other healthcare tech companies, Keriton, the maker of a feeding management platform for newborns, found that the pandemic amplified its mission and work.

The six-year-old company created software that acts as an in-hospital solution for breast milk and formula management in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The company “holistically” manages the feeding process, CEO Rich Mager said, by allowing families and nursing staff track pumping and feeding.

“We kind of hunkered down like other healthtech startups in the pandemic,” Mager told Technical.ly, “and we were able to come out the other end with lots of customer growth.”

The pressure hospital staff faced amid the pandemic, as well as growing staff shortages stemming from burnout and illness, meant that automating and streamlining procedures became essential, the CEO said. Keriton produced two apps, one to be used to log milk production by a baby’s family at home, and the other for workflow for NICU staff. The platforms offer features like text chatting back and forth, logging production, photo sharing, and engagement while a child is in the NICU.

“By automating tasks and ensuring safety, it reduces and mitigates risk,” Mager said. “The hospital can feel more confident they’re running a safe unit and patient outcomes are only getting better.”

After the company launched in 2016, it raised a $1 million seed round in 2017, led by BioAdvance and with participation from a rather impressive lineup of backers, including Ben Franklin Technology PartnersDreamit VenturesPenn MedicineAmeriHealthWharton School, Dorm Room Fund and investor Steve Barsh. In 2018, it raised again, this time about $1.5 million. (It was also named to Technical.ly’s 2018 RealLIST Startups list for Philly.) And in 2019, it took first place at the inaugural Improving the Patient Experience pitch competition, an event hosted by Paris-based research and consulting firm Ipsos and 1776 in DC.

In early 2020, the team was about eight people strong, and despite the pandemic, it’s since doubled. Mager said a just-completed round of a little more than $1 million led by existing investor BioAdvance brings the company’s total to about $3.5 million. The company has had a lot of growth this year, he said, with triple the revenue in 2022 from 2021, and they’re targeting doubling that in 2023.

“We are really pleased with revenue and customer growth despite the pandemic and financial headwinds that hospitals are facing nationwide,” Mager said.

And the bump of capital the company took this fall is going toward growing that team further, especially its technical roles. Mager said they’ll be growing sales and marketing, too; the team just took on a significant client that will require more resources.

The funding will also go toward a “reincarnation” of the product in early next year, Mager said. That will involve shifting Keriton from more of a transactional workflow product to one focused on the holistic journey for the patient and their families. The company also recently changed from only working with mothers’ breastmilk to also include donated breastmilk and all kinds of formula, too.

“We want our platform to be the one-stop shop for neonates and pediatric patients so their families are engaged with the care process,” Mager said.

Companies: Keriton / BioAdvance
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