Tampa-based tech startup TSOLife, which provides an artificial intelligence-based platform for senior living communities, completed a $9 million Series A funding round.
TSOLife’s primary platform, TSOLife Minerva, collects and transcribes interviews with residents and converts the information into data that staff can use to understand trends and outcomes.
The Series A round was led by Arnold Whitman, a veteran venture investor in senior care and tech, and executive chairman at Formation Capital and founding partner at Generator Venture.
Chicago-based investment bank Ziegler and Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) participated in the round.
“When we were raising, I got a ‘no’ from 67 firms, but I kept going because I knew we would eventually get a ‘yes’ and the ‘yes’ we got is from Whitman, who is a huge name in this space,” CEO David Sawyer told the St. Pete Catalyst.
“TSO is the tip of the spear in gathering social insights to improve quality of life and relationships in a unique and powerful way,” Whitman, the lead investor, said in a statement. “Data and AI will allow for more personalization and better social and health outcomes. Everyone talks about social determinants; TSO actually measures it.”
Whitman is also on TSOLife’s board.
Sawyer said he was introduced to Whitman through mutual connections.
“As a tech company, you have to continue to innovate yourself or you will be passed on. We will be advancing our technology and growing our customer base,” he said.
TSOLife, founded in 2014, had a very humble beginning. The concept first emerged when Sawyer attended Stetson University and was working on a group project about legacy preservation with the goal of sharing stories and connecting people.
“I learned a lot about the psychology behind the project of someone telling their life story,” he said. “We are selling the software in a B2B [business-to-business] model to collect data from residents with this tech that becomes a major differentiator. Residents can pinpoint pain points and the community can pivot and personalize someone’s care.”
He explained how communities can also leverage the tech by using the data to create programming for individuals that have a shared interest, thereby cutting the issue of isolation that many residents in senior living centers commonly face.
TSOLife is a member of the Tampa Bay Wave and is in hundreds of communities nationwide, reaching nearly 1,000 clients. The startup has over 50 employees who work remotely.
The company does business with large senior living investors that have a wide portfolio. TSOLife currently works with Benchmark Senior Living, Brookdale, Aegis Living and Sodalis Senior Living.
TSOLife’s early-stage investors include Florida Funders, DeepWork Capital, Waterfall Ventures Investments, Beresford Ventures LLC, Third Act Ventures and Bridge Angel Investors.
The company was also the first startup the Tampa-based venture capital firm Seedfunders invested in.