Silverlink Calls Up $5.6M

When Silverlink Communications calls, people listen.

The Burlington, Mass.-based company announced last week it raised $5.6 million in Series B funding, which should help expand the rollout of its interactive voice application for the health care industry.

Silverlinks technology allows a health maintenance organization, for example, to use the system to remind patients about appointments. A drug company in the midst of clinical trials could call patients to compile information on efficacy or side effects.

These functions could be done manually and most often are but Silverlink provides a significant cost benefit by being able to make thousands of simultaneous calls. The service also can be used to help screen for patients that would be best served by a live attendant.

All Silverlink calls to patients appear to be coming from the client company (it even shows up on caller ID as such), and client representatives answer any speak with a live operator selections. In addition, the technology does not seem to be subject to telemarketer-focused Do not call lists.

HLM Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backer Sigma Partners. As part of the transaction, Peter Grua, a managing partner with HLM, will join John Mandile and Richard Dale of Sigma on the Silverlink board of directors.

Stan Nowak, president and CEO of Silverlink, says that Silverlink will use its new funding to expand its development, sales and marketing efforts. The company currently has 20 employees, including a chief medical officer in New York and salespeople in Minneapolis. Silverlink also plans to open an Atlanta sales office. All company employees are given an equity interest upon joining.

Silverlink was founded in 2001, and bootstrapped by company management and angel investors until closing on just over $2 million in Series A funding last fall. Nowak declined to discuss company valuation, except to say that the $5.6 million Series B deal represented an up round.

The company does not have any further fund-raising plans and in fact turned down a pair of other VC firms that expressed serious investment interest.

We were looking to get between $5 million and $6 million, Nowak explains. We thought about trying to take more, but then decided against getting over-funded and having to take additional dilution.