Richmond, Va.-based Blue Heron Capital has led a $20 million Series B round for Authenticx, a so-called conversational intelligence firm that brings customer insights to help healthcare organizations enhance services.
Beringea, Indiana Next Level Fund/50 South Capital Advisors, High Alpha, Mutual Capital Partners, Signal Peak Ventures, Allos Ventures, Elevate Ventures and M25 also joined the round. The Indianapolis-based company has so far raised $28.3 million from investors.
“By listening at scale, business leaders can feel confident that the strategies they implement in their organization are backed by data generated from the authentic words of their customers,” said Authenticx founder and CEO Amy Brown, a 20-year veteran of the healthcare industry.
Strong Healthcare Focus
Blue Heron Capital was founded by Tom Benedetti and Andrew Tichenord, both of whom serve as managing partners. Previously, Tichenord worked at America Online, serving as a business and financial liaison to the Interactive Marketing and Business Affairs groups. Other work experiences include stints at the accounting firm McGladrey & Pullen, and manufacturer Rehrig International. Prior to his business career, he was a member of the U.S. Navy’s underwater explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team in California. At Blue Heron, Tichenord oversees the firm’s investments in Starc Systems and Aware.
Benedetti has more than a decade’s experience in healthcare investing, private placement, and advisory services experience. He previously co-founded Benedetti & Farris, a fundraising and special event planning firm. At Blue Heron, he oversees investments in CSA Medical, Homecare.com, Verato, Acclivity Health, Insightin Health, and Kion. So far, Blue Heron has raised $25.3 million from two funds. It has made 28 portfolio investments and exited three.
The Art of ‘Listening’
Authenticx has built advanced technology that “listens” to customer interactions from varied media, such as voice, chat or emails, and converts them into actionable insights.
“As healthcare organizations focus on building customer-centric solutions, they need a way to understand the truth of what customers truly want,” said Tom Benedetti,
Blue Heron’s co-founder and managing director. Authenticx’s strategic vision also aligns business decisions with patient experiences, he added.
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Subsequent to the funding, Blue Heron’s operating advisor, Scott Sanner, will join the Authenticx board. Sanner is the former CEO of Citra Health Solutions and brings nearly 30 years of industry experience, having previously held leadership positions at McKesson and Change Healthcare.
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Authenticx taps advanced technologies including machine learning to aggregate and analyze customer interaction data. Last year, it analyzed 100 million conversations with healthcare customers and identified several shortcomings in common contact centers. The failures included inability to convey the right information via callbacks, callers becoming stuck between two or more healthcare entities, and conflicting information offered by different sources.
Technology still under development at Authenticx would eliminate most of those problems and additionally provide comprehensive insights that enable decision-makers to develop effective strategies for addressing customer frustrations, the company says. “The infusion of capital gives us the opportunity to continue our growth in becoming the go-to solution for healthcare organizations relying on contact centers,” said Brown.