Clinician upskilling platform Violet nabs seed funding to expand culturally competent care training

Violet, a platform that provides cultural competency training for clinicians, has raised $4.1 million in seed funding, it announced last week. 

The latest round brings the company’s total raised to $5.3 million. The round was led by SemperVirens alongside Northwell Holdings, the venture arm of Northwell Health, the Venture Collective, HopeLab and founder and CEO of Brightline Naomi Allen. Violet plans to use the funding to expand its team and technology, it told Fierce Healthcare. 

Violet offers inclusivity training for clinicians and aims to power better care coordination through its platform. The startup, launched in 2020, developed a proprietary framework to measure cultural competence in clinicians. After an initial assessment, Violet leverages the data gathered to create a personalized training plan per clinician. Those data also become available to Violet’s clients to facilitate better patient-provider matching.

“Collaboration with Violet will advance the provision of identity-centered care by connecting patients with the most appropriate medical providers based on cultural competencies, addressing a significant gap in the current delivery of care,” Northwell Holdings President and CEO Rich Mulry said in a press release. 

While healthcare organizations may typically match patients to providers based on whether they belong to the same community, “that actually really hurts diverse communities,” Violet’s CEO and founder Gaurang Choksi said in an interview. Due to a short supply of diverse providers, this approach creates unrealistic wait times for patients, harming equitable care. Instead, Violet takes into account their education, cultural competence and lived and work experience, filling any gaps with training along the way. 

Most clinicians may not be taught nuanced, culturally competent care, Choksi explained. Pressed for time, education is often simply a “compliance exercise” that fails to teach clinicians how to apply their knowledge in practice. Uncertainty may keep clinicians from practicing that type of care when that’s what’s needed most for marginalized communities like BIPOC or LGBTQ+.

Violet’s trainings include e-learnings, resource guides and case studies, the company said. Clinicians participating are reassessed on the same benchmarking framework to track progress. Violet also tracks patient retention rates; so far, data show a retention rate of 87% at 60 days of care—three times the industry standard, the company claims. Some of the company’s clients include Brightline, Galileo and Parsley Health. A few thousand clinicians currently use Violet’s platform. The company hopes to grow that in the coming year. 

Violet says it’s creating a new business model by merging two existing ones—a provider matching solution and an educational platform. “It’s really when you marry the two,” Choksi said, “it creates a win for everybody.”