US telehealth monitoring and medical alert provider VRI (Valued Relationships, Inc.) of Franklin, Ohio earlier this month received a majority investment/recapitalization from Pamlico Capital, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based private equity firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Current lead executives CEO Chris Hendriksen and President Andy Schoonover will remain in active management and retain significant ownership in VRI, which they founded in 1989. Regarding the investment, Mr. Schoonover to this Editor stated that the funds will be used for expansion purposes. “It is another vote of confidence (alongside the Cardiocom acquisition) that telehealth is getting great results and is here to stay. The capital will support VRI’s growth objectives, particularly in executing a couple of large projects with health plans that VRI has booked for 2014, and the hiring of additional sales talent.”
Despite being in a rather ‘non-buzzy’ area of telehealth, the investment attracted the interest of some major players. VRI was assisted in evaluating its options by well-known digital health financial advisor Triple Tree; legal counsels were McDermott Will & Emery for VRI and Alston & Bird LLP for Pamlico. Pamlico specializes in the ‘middle market’ and has previously invested selectively in mid-sized healthcare providers such as Greenway (EHR), Healthcare First (home health software) and Physicians Endoscopy (surgical centers). Overall, and interestingly, this appears to be a positive, long-term vote for telehealth and medication monitoring, as well as for the viability of traditional medical alerts and some of the patient engagement/hospital readmission reduction models VRI has been developing with major payers such as Humana. Pamlico Capital release, Triple Tree release.