May 21, 2021

CareRev Series A: A Letter from the CEO

CareRev CEO, Will Patterson, reflects on the Series A milestone, including how we got here and the journey ahead.

It’s been about a month since we officially announced the closing of our Series A funding round of $50M. As I reflect on the warm wishes and words of encouragement, I think about our journey, what’s next, and most importantly, the people who have helped us get here.

The people

First and foremost, I’m so proud of the CareRev team’s grit, excellent execution, innovation, unity, growth, and willingness to embrace each other's differences. I’m grateful to my co-founders, Derrek and Sofia, for joining me 5 years ago on my journey to build a technology platform that helps solve the long-standing challenge of staffing for unpredictable patient demand in healthcare systems.  

And of course, none of this would be possible without the relationships we have with our healthcare professionals and healthcare facility partners. Your trust, transparent feedback, and suggestions for improvement have been critical to our joint success.

Finally, I want to thank all of our original investors for their support and guidance. Thank you to  Kevin Mahaffey, Zach Coelius, Matt Brezina, Immad Akhund, Gurdane Bhutani, Zeshan Muhammedi, YC (Y Combinator), Michael Seibel, Tikhon Bernstam, Arianna Simpson, Jack Altman, Jonathan Rosevelt, and others. I’m forever grateful for your advice and willingness to answer my questions/pick up the phone and help me talk through different problems. Thank you for believing in us and our mission. 

The path to CareRev

I have always had the drive to take care of others and to make a positive impact on my community. Previous to nursing, I was displeased with my job’s impact on society, so I went searching for a new career where my work could help others. I met multiple healthcare professionals in my search, including nurses who pushed me to explore nursing. 

In 2012, I graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I worked as an ICU nurse at multiple healthcare systems around the country and noticed that each system had the same problem: the inability to match their supply of healthcare professionals with the demand of their patients in real-time. Facilities were using antiquated workforce management tools and sometimes even pen and paper to fill open shifts. They were not able to move their own pool of professionals between facilities quickly and there was no easy way to engage part-time professionals who worked at facilities nearby. The result was too often a short-staffed shift where healthcare professionals had to take on additional patients. In this scenario, patients receive subpar care, healthcare professionals face burnout, and the health system takes on increased risk.

Most healthcare professionals who work within health systems work three days a week and often have student debt to pay down. I was facing six figures in student debt and looking for extra work on my days off, which was extremely difficult to find. I started looking at solutions in other industries and, in particular, labor marketplaces. At the time, Airbnb was a huge inspiration for me. I was an early adopter and was most impressed by their ability to make finding and booking a place to stay through an app feel so simple and easy. I knew other health systems needed my help on my days off, but there was no similar way to connect with them. Why was there no marketplace in healthcare to help professionals and facilities find each other?

Then in 2014, I met Sofia Pessanha, my original mentor and cofounder. After founding three companies, including another Y Combinator (YC) company called Unbabel, she was able to guide me in turning my idea into a real product. CareRev was accepted by YC in the summer of 2016. Soon after we met Derrek Long, our third co-founder and CTO, in Los Angeles. The three of us set off on our mission to find product-market fit with outpatient centers first and, in 2018, migrate upstream into the larger health system market. 

Once we found our first health system partner, we doubled down and invested even more in product and sales. After two years of grinding, we entered into a relationship with our first billion-dollar healthcare system, Froedtert Health. Late 2020 and throughout 2021, our growth has accelerated into rocketship status, closing multiple other massive health systems.


Where we are today

Since launching in 2015, we’ve been on a mission to seamlessly connect the healthcare workforce through technology. We create opportunity for professionals and provide flexibility for health systems, and we’re doing it by building technology that fosters a stronger partnership between the two to meet patient demand in real-time. 

In the last five years, we have connected 100’s of hospitals and outpatient centers with 1,000’s of healthcare professionals around the country. We help health systems streamline their staffing operations, innovate onboarding processes, and optimize their local talent pool. We empower healthcare professionals to engage in work that meets their need for work/life balance and also accelerates their careers. 

Most importantly, we provide technology that helps both sides work together more efficiently to promote the health of their local communities.

What’s next

We’ve accomplished so much in the past 5 years, and we’re just getting started. We have huge, urgent opportunities to help health systems in new markets and add density in our current markets. Our health system partners are looking to us for help in automating their manual workforce management challenges. Our professionals are asking for even more diverse opportunities and additional enhancements to our mobile app to make finding and booking shifts easier. 

With this new major injection of capital, we will focus our resources on scaling our technology platform. We plan to leverage machine learning to automate manual processes, expand to new markets, create more density in our current markets, and grow our amazing team with more world-class talent.

We believe the inevitable future of healthcare staffing is technology-driven and on-demand. Our vision to unite people in care requires technology to eliminate the traditional barriers and friction of healthcare staffing.

The opportunity is massive, and we’re hungry. Having great partners and investors like Transformation Capital, Industry Ventures, Zach Coelius, Michael Siebel, and others is a part of what makes our future so bright.

As Sofia likes to say, “Funding is never the end goal; it’s the fuel for our fire, it accelerates the rocket ship. Now it's time to go execute with excellence.”

Thanks for joining us on this journey. I can't wait to see where we go from here.

Will Patterson, RN, BSN

CareRev, CEO

Will Patterson
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