The company raised $80 million over two rounds, a $50 million Series B round in 2021, and a $30 million Series C round this year. The CEO says that the proceeds will be used to hire in all areas of the business.

The problem of short-staffed health facilities is a long-term problem. The number of people working in hospitals in the US has declined since March 2020. Staffing shortages cost hospitals $24 billion during the Pandemic.

Short-staffed facilities lead to burnout among healthcare professionals because of worse care for patients and spiraling costs. A Kaiser Family Foundation/Washington Post poll found that about three in 10 healthcare workers considered leaving the profession, while about six in 10 said that stress from the swine flu had hurt their mental health.

The more healthcare professionals leave the field, the faster the ones that remain are likely to burn out from their increased workload, according to Deng. Old methods can't be used to do that. The tools won't fix the problem.

Clipboard Health

The staffing dashboard is from Clipboard Health. The image is from clipboard health.

She somewhat biasedly believes that Clipboard is 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 via the 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 more locations by the end of the year. She said that hospitals and nursing homes are tapping a deeper pool of healthcare talent and that healthcare professionals are seeing a lot more opportunities.

App-based marketplace

Deng founded Clipboard six years ago after working at several firms. She led product management and business operations at Sendwave, a money transfer startup.

Deng said that he started looking for customers with economic problems that he could try to solve. The market for healthcare talent was broken. Hospitals and nursing homes are chronically short-staffed. You have healthcare professionals like nurses and certified nursing assistants who are getting burned out. Patients are slipping through the cracks because they can get the care they need.

Over a thousand healthcare facilities and tens of thousands of professionals are customers of Clipboard. Deng acknowledges that there are several startups with similar business models, like NurseDash, which focuses on travel nurses. She notes the different features of the platform, like instant payment after shifts.

The software lowers barriers to information. The information about who needs shifts and who is willing to fill them is important. The country will need more nurses. The U.S. can't meet its needs now. When the demand is higher and the supply is lower, how are we going to do it? Our platform gives new and veteran professionals access to opportunities and flexibility that a single full-time job couldn't provide.

Once dominated by brick-and-mortar staffing agencies, new digital staffing platforms are emerging for shift or job-based flexible work in industries such as healthcare. Will they survive? Shiftgig is one of the things we have already seen. Jyve appears to be out of business. These new digital staffing platforms need to build robust matching and optimization technology as well as strong brands to attract both employees and employers. Technology will be used to make flexible employment compliant, high-trust, faster, easier and a better experience for all concerned. Employers might want to use them for their own employees as well. Other platforms will be like traditional staffing agencies with a digital front-end, less disruptive and more easily replicated by those same traditional staffing agencies.

Contract nursing, which often commands higher salaries compared to staff positions, is leading to a vicious healthcare hiring cycle according to some experts. Hospital administrators spend more hiring contractors, making them less able or willing to increase their staff nurses, so more staff nurses quit to become contract nurses.

The average pay for a traveling contract nurse has gone up from $1,000 to $2,000 per week before the Pandemic, to $3,000 to $5,000 after, according to the Associated Press.

Deng argues that the two sides of the market can choose which one they want.

It is easy and simple for our customers, and that is how we think it should work for everyone.

Growth opportunities

According to CB Insights, venture capitalists in the U.S. invested more money into digital health startups in the year after.

Clipboard Health

The app is for mobile devices. The image is from clipboard health.

Clipboard plans to use the data that its platform gives to glean insights into the broader healthcare market.

The company's gross revenue increased by 25 times in the last 18 months, and the latest funding brings the company's total capital raised to $90 million. Deng says that the runway should be enough to build out new teams to support the company's growth.

The healthcare workforce hasn't recovered from the stress caused by the Pandemic. The number of people working in hospitals is lower than it was before the Pandemic hit. That means healthcare facilities are still scrambling to find caregivers to fill shifts. I hope we are getting closer to being out of the woods. There are chronic trends behind the shortfall of healthcare talent.

The Series B was led by IVP. Initialized Capital is one of the investors.