Led by Tiger Global, funding will accelerate product development to meet demand for healthcare service robot and enhance interoperability, integration and efficiency in healthcare institutions
AUSTIN, Texas, April 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Austin-based robotic automation company, Diligent Robotics, today announced that it has closed over $30 million in Series B funding, bringing the total investment raised to date to nearly $50 million. Diligent Robotics develops socially-intelligent service robots and artificial intelligence solutions that enable robots to collaborate within and adapt to human environments.
The flagship product, Moxi, is a robot that performs delivery tasks for frontline healthcare teams. Stress and burnout have been a persistent problem in healthcare for years, creating a shortage of nurses and clinical staff. But over the past two years COVID-19 has accelerated this into a crisis moment, with projections of more than 1 million new nurses needed in the U.S. alone. More and more health systems are looking for automation to provide workforce augmentation at a critical time for this market.
Tiger Global, an investment firm focused on private and public companies in the internet, software, consumer, and financial technology sectors, led the Series B funding round. Diligent also maintains the support of existing investors, including True Ventures, DNX Venture, Ubiquity Ventures, E14 Fund, Next Coast Ventures, Boom Capital, Gaingels as well as additional commitments from new investors including Cedars-Sinai Health Ventures.
“We are proud to have the full support of our past investors and welcome our new partners who joined during our Series B raise,” said Dr. Andrea Thomaz, co-founder of Diligent Robotics. “This new round of funding will help us scale the company to meet the incredible demand for our healthcare service robot. 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.”
Founded in 2017, Diligent Robotics is the leading company in the social robotics space and the first to build a unique robot with social intelligence and mobile manipulation capabilities to help people in their work environments. In 2018, the company debuted Moxi, a collaborative robot assistant that assists clinical staff with routine, not-patient-facing tasks including fetching and delivering supplies, medications, or lab samples. Since launching and integrating into several healthcare systems, Moxi demonstrated improvement in overall clinical flows and gave care team members back valuable time to spend with their patients.
“We started implementing Moxi into our clinical workflows in December and planned on going through a trial phase to determine if the technology would be helpful to our staff,” said Cody Blankenship, Vice President Performance Improvement at Mary Washington Healthcare. “Right away, we could see the impact Moxi made on the efficiency of our staff and how morale immediately increased. We were so impressed with what Moxi took off our team’s hands, we chose to add even more robots to our fleet.”
In the two years since its Series A funding, Diligent Robotics has achieved several milestones including:
- Moving from prototype to commercial deployment. Between 2018 and 2019, Diligent partnered with four health systems in Texas to complete a series of research trials. The team incorporated the learnings and demonstrated the commercial value of their robotic technology, incorporating direct feedback from care teams to shape how Moxi fits into clinical workflows today. The first commercial deployments of Moxi started in 2020.
- Moxi utilization and use cases with initial customers. Diligent saw initial success with early customers as nurses quickly adopted Moxi into their workflows. As Moxi is joining more teams, Diligent sees a consistent need to support clinical staff to offload a diverse set of tasks that interrupt a nurse’s day, including sending and picking up things from the lab, delivering teleboxes, managing the “do not tube” medications, picking up patient’s personal items or transferring pumps or other light-weight equipment from unit to unit. Now that Moxi is fully deployed and integrated into a diverse set of health systems across the nation from multi-location systems to smaller community hospitals or large academic and research-focused health systems, the demand is skyrocketing. Chief Nursing Officers from all sizes of healthcare institutions want to understand robotic solutions and how Diligent can help their clinical staff during the nursing shortage crisis.
- Began commercial organization build out. To support the high demand, Diligent quickly expanded their talented team across the entire business from operations, sales and engineering.
According to a report from Research and Markets, the global smart hospital market is estimated to be at $27.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $82.89 billion by 2026, compounding at 24.6% annually.
“Robotic automation technology will be the key to optimizing efficiency and productivity in health care operations,” said Connie Lee, Partner, Tiger Global. “As a leader in robotic technology, Diligent Robotics has been able to scale to meet demand while developing an impressive product that delivers tremendous value for its customers. We are excited to partner with Diligent Robotics as their positive impact on the healthcare system grows.”
The funds raised during this round will help Diligent optimize supply chain and design teams for faster robot deployment. They will continue to enhance interoperability and drive purposeful integrations with existing hospital infrastructure, electronic health records and clinical communications, which will allow them to continue to meet the demands during the persistent nursing shortage. The team at Diligent is excited about the next chapter and how the Series B funding will be able to accelerate their plans.
“Diligent Robotics’ participation in the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator program led to the exploration of our team testing this solution with our clinical teams,” said Dr. David Marshall, Chief Nursing Executive at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. “Using the robot to relieve front-line health care workers from point-to-point delivery and retrieval tasks has been successful in our original launch. Staff members have told me that gives them more time for direct patient care.”
Source: PR Newswire