By: Garrett Reim | January 27, 2014 (Featured on Built in LA)
TigerText just received $21 million in a Series B round led by Shasta Ventures. The secure enterprise SMS platform has been expanding rapidly, especially within the medical industry and plans to build out its platform, enhance its API and ramp up its engineering hiring. Such an expansion, which TigerText founder and CEO Brad Brooks said would be “very capital intensive,” is part of the company’s race to grab market share.
The medical industry is in the “early stages of adoption of secure messaging,” Brooks said, and so TigerText must seize this “unique moment in time.”
“Employees are using SMS, but it is not secure,” Brooks said. This is problematic, particularly within the medical industry where patient privacy law like HIPAA regulates communications. By achieving a certain threshold of security, TigerText allows medical professionals to talk about their work the risk of lawsuits.
In addition to encrypting messages, the secure messaging app allows its users and administrators to set parameters around self-deleting messages, message recalls and electronic document transfers. The service integrates with document sharing platforms Google Drive and Dropbox. TigerText also plans to use its new funding to help more developers integrate the messaging app seamlessly into ERP and ERM systems, something it has already done with PointClickCare, an electronic health record platform.
A secure and HIPAA-compliant messaging app should create more efficient communication within hospitals, clinics, and small practices. For example, TigerText allows users to create instant messaging groups around individual patients, so that they can better coordinate and provide care. Before non-secure, non-HIPAA compliant SMS exposed medical organizations to patient privacy lawsuits making efficient communication around patient care difficult.
In addition to building out its API, TigerText recently has begun offering a freemium version of its messaging app. The freemium version “helps drive more proliferation and adoption,” allowing employees to use TigerText without their organizations formally implementing the service said Brooks. This is part of the company’s new “bottom-up organic approach.” Once, medical organizations decide they want to pay for the more feature rich version they can take control and administer the freemium network already organically adopted by their employees. Over time, Brooks said he imagines the classic top-down sales representative driven approach and organic bottoms up approach converging on customers and quickening the adoption of their service.
Though the company is getting interest from financial service firms and possible government clients, Brooks said “the vast majority of TigerText customers are medical,” and they “are not looking to deviate” from focusing on the medical industry.
TigerText is not disclosing specific business performance numbers, but Brooks said they have several hundred customers, tens of thousands of users under the paid model and several million downloads of the freemium version. TigerText has about 65 employees and has raised a total of $31.1 million.