VC funding has dropped precipitously over the last two quarters, especially for startups not in the generative AI space. Global venture capital funding in the first half of 2023 plunged 48% (to $173.9 billion) year-over-year, according to available Pitchbook data.
But it hasn’t been completely quiet for Southeast startups. In fact one startup in the AgeTech space, Raleigh-based K4Connect, finished off last month with a $8.9 million investment from a mix of new and existing investors.
K4Connect’s CEO Scott Moody is a startup veteran and has raised VC funding in good times and in bad. Following the funding news, we asked Moody about how the fundraising world was this time around.
“It was difficult and anyone that tells you differently, probably outside a few AI companies, is spinning a bit of a story,” he told Hypepotamus. “Truth is, I think raising funds is almost always difficult. While we at K4Connect, and AuthenTec (my prior startup), were fortunate to raise funds from well-known names such as Sierra Ventures and The Carlyle Group, Intel Capital, AXA Ventures and RGAX, and a number of others, I always joke that list of those that said no is even more impressive and far longer! Raising money can be a grind and is often a matter of simple perseverance. While venture capital has a long-term investment horizon, it is greatly affected by near-term market conditions and there have been a lot of tough conditions these last few years. Those conditions started with the pandemic, the shutdowns, scarcities from toilet paper to engineering talent, rising interest rates and inflation, and a tough exit environment especially among the higher-valuation arenas of IPO’s and strategic acquisitions.”
K4Connect has been growing significantly in the Southeast’s AgeTech space, a startup vertical focused on how communities and individuals age. The software is ultimately an ecosystem of tools and a central “operating system” to improve communications and connection among residents at senior living communities, their families, and staff members.
It is all about helping senior living communities embrace technology and navigate a post-COVID world.
We last caught up with K4Connect in 2021 when the startup was rethinking what independent living looks like for senior citizens. Now with the new round of funding, Moody said the startup is focused on growing its customer base.
“While Covid had a profound effect on the senior living market, it is rebounding quickly, and technology is now more important than ever before,” Moody added. “Prior to Covid, technology was often seen as a nice-to-have, and just another cost center, but post-Covid with staffing and cost challenges, technology is much more of a strategic consideration, and often, a competitive advantage.”
K4Connect is one of several AgeTech startups to keep an eye on here in the Southeast. Who else should you know? Check out our roundup from earlier this year here.