Clipboard health workers
Clipboard Health, an app-based marketplace that matches nurses with open shifts at nearby healthcare facilities, today announced that it raised $80 million over two unannounced rounds, a $50 million Series B round in 2021 and a $30 million Series C round this year, at a $1.3 billion valuation post-money. CEO Wei Deng says that the proceeds will be put toward hiring in all areas of the business, including engineering, sales, and marketing.
Short-staffed health facilities represent a long-term problem that the pandemic has made more acute. Since March 2020, the number of people working at U.S. hospitals declined by more than 2%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, while emergency department wait times increased. A recent analysis of workforce data by Premier found that staffing shortages cost hospitals $24 billion during the pandemic.
In addition to worse care for patients and spiraling costs for administrators, short-staffed facilities lead to burnout among healthcare professionals. A 2021 Kaiser Family Foundation/Washington Post poll found that about three in 10 healthcare workers considered leaving the profession while about six in 10 said pandemic-related stress had harmed their mental health.
A tool that might — she somewhat biasedly believes, being its founder — is Clipboard, an online marketplace that pairs nurses, nursing assistants, and other healthcare professionals with facilities in need of staffing. Using the platform, facilities can post shifts they need to fill and healthcare workers can book these shifts, managing their schedules via Clipboard’s mobile app
Currently serving workers in more than 30 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York, the goal is to bring Clipboard to “many more” locations by the end of the year, Deng says. “What we’re doing is allowing healthcare professionals to sign up for shifts when and where they want, often at facilities where they’ve never worked before, and leverage their latent hours if they choose to. So hospitals and nursing homes are tapping a much deeper pool of healthcare talent and, at the same time, healthcare professionals are seeing a lot more opportunities,” she added.
Deng founded Clipboard six years ago, after stints as an associate at law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell and investment bank Moelis & Company. Also prior to Clipboard, she led product management and business operations at Sendwave, an international money transfer startup.
“I started looking for customers with economic problems that we could try to solve, or broken markets that we could work towards fixing,” Deng said. “In the course of meeting a lot of prospective customers, I saw how many of the healthcare professionals I talked to — how many nurses — wanted opportunities to do the work they loved on their own terms, with more flexibility. Eventually, we realized that the market for healthcare talent was broken. You have healthcare facilities, like hospitals and nursing homes, that are chronically short-staffed. You have healthcare professionals, like nurses and certified nursing assistants, who are getting overworked and burned out, especially during COVID. And you have patients who are slipping through the cracks because they can’t get the care they need.”
Clipboard is a two-sided marketplace, counting over a thousand healthcare facilities and tens of thousands of professionals as customers. Besides incumbent staffing agencies, Deng acknowledges that there are several startups with business models similar to Clipboard’s, like NurseDash, CareRev, and Nomad Health, which focuses on travel nurses. But she notes the distinguishing features of Clipboard’s platform, like instant payment after shifts.
Clipboard health workers