Portfolio News1/14/15

How Rock Health helps startups grow

Guest Contributor

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Kit Check co-founders Tim Kress-Spatz and Kevin MacDonald in their office in Washington D.C. last year

 
Kevin MacDonald, co-founder and CEO, Kit Check

Earlier this week, Kit Check announced our Series B funding of $12 million led by Kaiser Permanente Ventures. We successfully raised our Series A of $10.4 million in July 2013 after joining Rock Health’s portfolio. In the eighteen months between funding rounds we grew from seven to 144 hospital customers with over 5,000 users on our cloud-based system and 3.6 million medications tracked.

Kit Check represents the only successful Internet of Things success story for hospital consumables to date. We believe it is also the best example of successful cloud software adoption in hospital operations. We are helping hospitals reduce cost and increase patient safety related to medication dispensing and use, which is an important industry contribution. It’s a great story and far from over. One constant throughout has been strong support from Rock Health.

It wasn’t always assumed that Kit Check was destined for success. We started the company in my guest room and shot our early product video demonstrations from my apartment building hallway. When we did live webcam product demonstrations for hospitals, I would have to be sure the camera didn’t move and reveal that our entire operation was housed in a bedroom. This wasn’t easy since our solution includes hardware the size of a small oven as well as cloud-based software.

Rock Health signifies an important transition

When I think about the key transition point for Kit Check as a company, Rock Health is a big part of it. We had just installed our second hospital when we joined Rock Health. It is fair to say we were starting to do production volume on beta software at that point.

My Co-founder, Tim Kress-Spatz, and I traveled to San Francisco to kick off our relationship with Rock Health and that is when many of the key elements of our business fell into place. We revised our business model from a large upfront fee with a monthly kicker to a model based solely on usage. We identified a second product to expand the value we could offer to hospitals. We were introduced to prominent VCs and industry experts. Those experts were especially critical. While I had some experience in healthcare technology, neither of us had the necessary depth of experience to fully understand how hospitals procured technology. Insights gained during this period became essential elements of our sales model that we employ to this day.

Rock Health continues to support portfolio companies

The other great thing about Rock Health is its continued support throughout your company’s growth. The organization regularly promotes our successes to the media and investor community. We are prominently featured in reports and other events. If we ever need an introduction, the connection is made quickly.

Kit Check has a lot more to do. Our intent is to fundamentally change the way hospitals manage, track and verify medication usage. We now need to expand into several thousand more hospitals and grow usage in the operating room. Our latest funding round will be a great asset as we further accelerate our company growth and Kaiser Permanente will be a valuable partner. There is no doubt that Rock Health will continue to be an asset along the way.

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