Healthcare staffing shortages drove FTV’s investment in Gale Healthcare

“Healthcare staffing is a large, $20bn-plus market and we like to look at big markets undergoing disruption, FTV partner Richard Liu told PE Hub.

FTV Capital’s $60 million strategic growth equity investment in Gale Healthcare Solutions on January 19 marked the firm’s seventh healthcare-related investment. PE Hub spoke with FTV partner Richard Liu about the opportunities in the sector.

“Healthcare is a massive part of GDP, so the total available market is very large,” Liu said. “Healthcare staffing is also a very large, $20-billion-plus market and we like to look at big markets undergoing disruption and based on that, we view healthcare as an attractive area to invest capital in.”

Gale is a technology-enabled healthcare services and payments platform that provides per diem, contract and travel temporary staffing services in post-acute and acute healthcare settings, along with daily pay for healthcare staff.

Demand for the company’s offerings has grown during the pandemic, when the shortage of nurses became increasingly urgent. Since launching five years ago, Gale has achieved exponential growth. There are now more than 500 professionals supporting more than 39,000 clinicians across 38 states. Together, these nurses have delivered more than 10 million hours of patient and resident care, driving a 16,000 percent increase in revenue, according to the company.

“The software caters to the nurse and is very nurse-centric,” he said. “They have catered an offering that nurses want to use and be associated with and that in turn, helps fill the shifts that at the end of the day, are critical to providing care in the facilities and hospitals.”

“On the tech side, we want to improve the user experience and also broaden what we can do for the facilities and hospitals and also the clinicians and nurses, giving them more tools like ongoing education for example, storing all types of credentials and creating more value for the end-user and customer,” Richard Liu, partner at FTV told PE Hub. He also mentioned geographic expansion.

While Liu declined to comment on specific financial information, he said Gale was profitable since inception. “We are focused on patient outcome and patient care,” he said. “While financial metrics are important, if we take care of the latter, the former will follow suit.”

Gale marks the seventh healthcare-related investment for FTV, with the others being Luma Health, 6 Degrees Health, Vpay, Medsynergies, Empyrean and Health Credit Services.

“Across healthcare consumer expectations have increased and covid has accelerated this trend,” he said. “Patients are looking for more fluid communication that mirrors other experiences and are really looking for a one-stop shop, from checking in to checking out when going for a visit, and we see that journey going digital.”

“Although there has been progress as of late,” he added, “the reality is that information in the healthcare field is highly siloed, with all kinds of different ERH’s, systems and providers and it is very cumbersome to get all of this information in one place,” Liu said. “We believe this will be a really interesting area of investment and growth in the future.”

For more on FTV’s strategy, see Mary Kathleen Flynn’s Q&A with FTV managing partner Brad Bernstein.