Late last week NextStep Interactive, a digital healthcare training platform, announced that it scored $3 million in new funding. The new money came from SEI Ventures, JAZZ Venture Partners, Learn Capital’s Learn Start Fund, Springrock Ventures, City Light Capital, Frontier Angels and managing directors from Pioneer Square Labs.
This latest funding builds on the $3.275 million round closed last fall.
WHAT THEY DO
The Seattle, Washington-based startup focuses on digitally training new workers, in particular individuals who have lost their jobs because of new technology. It specifically focuses on health-related jobs, such as nurses aids and home health aids.
The startup is targeting displaced workers with experience in low-wage jobs to retrain for health care services, citing the increasing need for healthcare workers in the US. The company will also give out certain types of certificates, including CNA and home healthcare certificates. The education is provided through 10- to 15-minute moduels.
"Workers displaced by technology represent a pool of untapped talent for a health care industry that continues to face a critical shortage of workers to fill in-demand jobs such as certified nursing assistants, home health aides and community health workers," Chris Hedrick, CEO of NextStep Interactive, said in a statement. "We're proving that new modes of training that respect both the time and capabilities of displaced workers, combined with job placement services, can unlock the potential of individuals who are every bit as agile as the innovation economy."
The platform is also designed to help provider organizations recruit new staff by screening, training and certifying potential new workers. In addition, the startup was designed to supply digital CE courses to client provider organizations.
WHAT IT’S FOR
While the company did not specify what the new funding will be put towards, it has indicated that the investors are all interested in growing education and impact.
Recruiting new staff for the healthcare industry has been a continuous challenge. While NextStep focuses on careers that require a certificate, other digital companies are focusing on staffing doctors and nurses. For example, Nomad Health connects doctors with freelance clinical work. Additionally, Enzyme Health is focused on staffing telehealth positions through a “gig economy” model.
ON THE RECORD
"By pairing new forms of assessment with highly-targeted learning experiences, NextStep places vulnerable workers on a path to more rapid skill development and better opportunity," Terry McDonough, managing director of SEI Ventures, said in a statement. "This investment reflects our desire to back companies that not only close skill gaps and equity gaps, but also drive high returns on education investment."