Fells Point-based healthcare analytics compliance firm Protenus closed on $21 million in new funding as it sees continued growth for AI-based analytics in hospital systems.
The Series D round included participation from new investors MemorialCare Innovation Fund, the venture fund of Southern California’s MemorialCare Health System, and Gaingels, a syndicate representing the LGBT+ community and allies. All of the company’s existing investors also joined the round, including Transformation Capital, Providence Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Arthur Ventures and Lionbird. The company has now raised $57.2 million.
Using AI-based analytics, Protenus works with hospitals to monitor snooping in electronic medical records and narcotic drug diversion, which is when prescription drugs are obtained illegally. This allows leaders to see how data is being used, and provides alerts if there is anything inappropriate. Healthcare in general is regulated by strict privacy laws, and Protenus’ platform helps to ensure compliance.
Protenus doubled its customer base over the last year despite the pandemic, and its technology played a role as hospitals cared for patients with COVID-19.
“We work with hospitals and health systems across the country to reduce risk and conserve resources, which is particularly important as many hospitals are still operating under a resource-constrained environment due the pandemic shifting staffing or furloughing many back-office positions. Our customer base grows considerably every year, however this past year we have seen tremendous growth, doubling our customer network to include over one thousand hospitals and tripling our user community,” said CEO Nick Culbertson. “With a customer retention rate of 98%, our users constantly report the value our technology has brought to their organization, ensuring compliance while compliance teams have been moved around the hospital to help manage COVID patient care.”
Protenus was founded in 2014. It now has 100 employees and cemented a place among a cluster of growth stage companies based in the city. The firm has built a leadership team by tapping execs with experience at some of Baltimore’s past startup success stories, and data science talent from institutions like Johns Hopkins.
Culbertson said the company has a “great infrastructure in place and are working to scale as our demand increases and new market opportunities are considered.” Combined with the new funding, this will allow the company “to heavily invest into our research and development teams in order to bring new products to market,” Culbertson said.
It is planning to bring on another 30 team members over the next year, and currently has open roles including director-level roles in engineering and product operations. The company also sought to put calls for racial justice and equity of the last year into action inside the company and in Baltimore. It took a lead role in creating Baltimore Tracks, the coalition of tech companies working to build a more diverse tech workforce in the city.
“Over this past year we have also been very thoughtful about creating a more inclusive work environment, scaling our [diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging] program, launching Baltimore Tracks, and now working with Gaingels to support the LGBT+ community,” Culbertson said.
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