Clearwave is transforming healthcare to better serve the needs of patients and physicians.
When a patient needs care, the last thing they want to do is waste time on complicated check-in procedures and endless paperwork. It creates frustration, leads to bottlenecks, and makes healthcare practices inefficient.
Clearwave’s self-service engagement solutions enable healthcare providers to streamline the entire patient check-in experience. In fact, because Clearwave has spent many years optimizing all aspects of a patient’s visit, check-in can take as little as three minutes. It creates a great first impression, frees up staff to spend more time with patients, and accelerates the revenue cycle for providers which enables them to re-invest back into growing their practices.
Q&A with the CEO
Mike Lamb, Clearwave
What have been the key levers of growth since becoming a portfolio company?Frontier has helped Clearwave identify and refine our go to market strategy. We became much more laser-focused on the verticals where we win most often enabling us to accelerate bookings.
So it wasn’t only the investment in resource, but the investment in strategy that’s made a huge difference in our performance.
Looking back to Clearwave before Frontier and before you joined, what were the founders’ ambitions for the business?The company’s founders identified an enormous greenfield growth opportunity in the healthcare sector — Clearwave could deliver a digital self-service and check-in solution for patients in a market where over 70% of practices are still largely paper-based. However, prior to Frontier, they were capital constrained in being able to take advantage of the opportunity. Joining forces with Frontier really helped unlock that potential.
And has the ambition changed over time since the deal?No, not dramatically. We are still executing heavily on our core vision and market expansion. In fact, this has been accelerating since almost immediately after the investment. What has changed is we’ve gained an enhanced view of how we can broaden our offering and footprint into the patient engagement space (booking appointments, sending reminders, taking clinical histories).
Was there a particular inflection point that made the founders look for a partner?They were about 15 years into their business journey and had taken on a number of shareholders during that time. Clearwave grew nicely over that time period and started experiencing really significant growth in 2017-2018. It meant they could see that the business had real trajectory. But they knew that to take advantage of it and reduce capital constraints, they needed to bring in a partner to help add fuel to the growth.
What makes Frontier a good fit for Clearwave?It's down to a number of elements.
Frontier has demonstrated success in recurring revenue SaaS businesses. They have experience in healthcare and the healthcare services sector with a number of really successful investments. And they’ve established a niche in terms of their investment criteria, which Clearwave is a good fit for.
What are the main business challenges that partnering with Frontier has helped the business address?There are a number of things.
It's helped us build and commercialize a professional sales and go to market strategy.
We were able to invest in strengthening the management team in terms of attracting really seasoned leaders — a CFO, Head of Marketing, and Head of Technology.
Then, from a strategic perspective, Frontier has brought in a number of subject matter experts in key areas. They’ve helped us build and define a customer success organization, which we've never really had. And they’ve evaluated our pricing strategy, eliminating friction in the buying process and making it very additive and accretive.
What would you say is the biggest result of the partnership to date?The groundbreaking result for us has been building the strategy and the execution plan for our new pricing model.
Prior to Frontier, practices needed to buy the kiosk hardware which was somewhat expensive, and then pay a monthly software recurring cost. Part of the reason for this was constrained capital — Clearwave couldn’t finance the hardware upfront.
Now, we can offer a more customer-friendly model where practices simply pay per-patient on a monthly basis. This has removed any upfront burden for the customer.
This has been an absolute home run for us in terms of accelerating sales and making decisions easier. It's allowed us almost double the size of our average deal by making everything recurring.
And how have you made use of Frontier’s Operating Partners?It's been fantastic. Roberto Muñoz, our Operating Partner, has deep experience in healthcare and IT growth companies. He understands the market landscape, the language, the customers. From a strategic resource, he’s been invaluable in building our go to market and pricing strategies.
What would you say is the key to hiring great people and developing a strong culture in the business?I'm incredibly fortunate in joining this company — the founders built a fantastic culture. So I can't take any credit for creating it.
My job is to make sure I continue to foster it and keep it strong.
The way we look at our culture is best expressed in our values. We're clear, which means we're transparent in how we operate. We're committed and passionate about what we do, about building great software, and about taking care of our clients. And we’re client-centred which means clients and patients remain first and foremost in every everything we do.
When it comes to culture, I use our values as a lens for whom we hire and as a test for fit.
What do you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your career about growing these sorts of software businesses?Across my career, I’ve learned that there are lots of pathways a business could go down. Lots of potential markets to go after. Lots of things you can do with your product.
The biggest thing that I keep learning is that focus is always the key.
There's always going to be many more things on the laundry list than can be well executed. It's more important to pick the right few versus trying to do too many and not being successful. It’s about channeling the ambition into the vital areas where you know you can win.
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