Purpose built to augment human talent, the company’s virtual agents and software consoles have gained widespread popularity among healthcare provider and service organizations nationwide, uniquely leveraging conversational AI, generative AI and machine learning to maximize workforce performance and job satisfaction.
Never have healthcare’s administrative burdens been so acute than in the face of post-pandemic resource and budget constraints, which is why demand is on the rise for Outbound AI’s virtual agents and software consoles powered by its proprietary Conversation AI Cloud. The tech startup completed its seed financing, with the latest round co-led by Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group and SpringRock Ventures.
Outbound AI emerged from stealth mode last year to a market hungry for solutions that improve both productivity and profitability. “We’ve developed AI-powered virtual agents capable of performing many different administrative tasks, and our software consoles provide customers with complete transparency, visibility and control,” says Stead Burwell, Founder and CEO of Outbound AI. “We started in revenue cycle, but our Conversation AI Cloud is poised to support healthcare knowledge workers across a variety of functional areas, settings and specialties.”
The company defines its mission as “elevating the human work experience in healthcare,” which embodies Burwell’s commitment to a core philosophy of human-agent teaming. “We’re creating great partnerships between human workers and AI-powered virtual agents,” says Burwell. “Our focus is on repetitive, time-intensive work that keeps human talent from functioning at the top of their license. Importantly, we’re augmenting human talent, not replacing it.”
Jonathan Wiggs, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Outbound AI, adds: “What we’ve heard loud and clear is that customers want out-of-the-box solutions that can be implemented quickly, without disruption to workflows and with immediate effect, which is exactly the deployment model we’ve built and the experience we’re delivering, while also consistently generating a 3-5x return on investment.”
Outbound AI’s virtual agents operate at up to four to five times the pace of their human partners for a fraction of the cost. “Our virtual agents run 24/7 at peak capacity and they scale on demand to accommodate any volume,” says Wiggs. “This allows their human partners to offload rote tasks and get more high-value work done.”
Outbound AI is the second health tech startup in which Tim Porter of Madrona Venture Group and Kirsten Morbeck of SpringRock Ventures have collaborated. Their previous investment in Saykara, a conversational AI startup successful in reducing administrative burdens for physicians through ambient scribing, resulted in acquisition by Nuance Communications, now a part of Microsoft Corporation. Porter, Morbeck and several other Saykara investors and founders are now backing Outbound AI’s broader aim of reducing administrative burdens across myriad business, financial and clinical scenarios alike.
Also participating in Outbound AI’s seed financing are Epic Ventures, Ascend, Pack Ventures, Locke Capital, Tacoma Venture Fund and KCRise Fund. “We made an intentional decision to form the base of our commercial team in Kansas City, and we’re thrilled to have the support of KCRise Fund,” says Burwell. Kansas City is recognized as a major metropolitan hub within ‘Silicon Prairie’ and boasts a burgeoning health tech sector.
“The healthcare workforce is in crisis, and innovation that focuses on relieving this crisis is sorely needed,” says Porter. “Though automation is not a new concept, the approach Outbound AI is taking by partnering with human talent on administrative tasks is unlike anything we’ve seen to date from other health tech companies. Stead, Jonathan and their teams are already delivering stellar results. Madrona has tremendous confidence that Outbound AI’s impact on the healthcare market will be immense.”
Says Morbeck, “SpringRock Ventures looks to invest in companies with highly differentiated next-generation solutions that solve an acute pain point, which is precisely what we uncovered during our diligence with Outbound AI’s customers. Not only is Outbound AI leveraging conversational and generative AI in truly novel ways, its platform is enabling customers to significantly increase their productivity. We’re excited to help Outbound AI achieve its vision.”