Originally published by Tech Crunch on April 12, 2022
Nursing shortages were a problem well before our hospitals were rocked by a pandemic. Two years in and overloaded systems have further contributed to burnout, stress and other factors plaguing the people we rely on for our own well-being. We’ve seen robotics applied to just about every other field of late, so why not nursing — a field that will require one million new faces to keep up with demand in the U.S. alone?
Diligent has been leading that specific charge for some time now. Late last year, we spoke with University of Texas Austin associate professor Andrea Thomaz, who co-founded the company in 2017 with Vivian Chu, to discuss precisely how profound an impact the past two years have had on the firm. She noted, in part:
It is really just a dramatic shift in labor markets across a lot of different industries. It seems to be related both to people kind of having a great resignation, where people are deciding that they want to do different things. And a lot of people shifting jobs. We’re seeing that all across tech work, a lot in our industry and healthcare. A lot of people are just deciding to do something else. There were already workforce challenges pre-pandemic, and now those are reaching crisis levels.
Diligent timed its last funding round perfectly, scoring $10 million in March of 2020, right before many U.S. hospitals were inundated. This week the robotics company announced that it’s tripling that amount for a Series B of “over” $30 million. Tiger Global, which seems to have its striped paws in all things robotic funding, led the round. Existing investors True Ventures, DNX Venture, Ubiquity Ventures, E14 Fund, Next Coast Ventures, Boom Capital and Gaingels joined in, along with new participant, Cedars-Sinai Health Ventures.
“This new round of funding will help us scale the company to meet the incredible demand for our healthcare service robot,” Thomaz said in a release tied to today’s news. Thanks to the support of our investors and the Diligent team, we are focused on expanding automated support for clinical teams so nurses and clinicians can focus on tasks that matter most, patient care.”
Diligent says it will be using the funding to help navigate some supply chain issues as it continues to deploy its nurse assisting bot, Moxi. This new round brings the startup’s funding to just under $50 million.