Startup K4Connect is tapping the technology of another up-and-coming company located a few blocks away, Pendo, to enhance the usability and utility of its initial product.
K4Connect announced this week that it will use Pendo’s cloud-based software to gain feedback from users to improve K4Community, which is designed for seniors in independent, assisted living and memory care facilities.
Pendo’s software “allows you to completely understand how someone that is interfacing with your product is using that product,” said Scott Moody, K4Connect’s co-founder and CEO. “You really get a large amount of data about exactly how people are using it. Which functions do they like the most? Which might be confusing to them? All that information can go into improving your product.”
K4Community’s many functions include enabling seniors to remotely manage their room temperature and turn lights off and on, thanks to the “Internet of Things” and the company’s proprietary software. Seniors also can get reminders to take a pill or have a video chat with family members through K4Community apps.
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Last August K4Connect announced its first contract, a $1.4 million deal to install its K4Community technology in 10 senior facilities being built in Pennsylvania.
Pendo’s software should be especially valuable to K4Connect because its end-users are seniors.
“It’s difficult to build applications for this audience set,” said Todd Olson, co-founder and CEO of Pendo. “They didn’t grow up with technology, in many instances.”
Both K4Connect and Pendo are fast-growing companies based in downtown Raleigh. Both were founded in late 2013.
The two startups partnership is a sign that the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem “is gaining enough critical mass where these things are possible,” Olson said.
Moody said that the two companies are truly collaborating.
“First off, those guys are only three blocks away,” he said of Pendo. “They’ve taken the time to sit down with our team and train them as well as take feedback from them. This isn’t an arm’s length” relationship.
K4Connect, which has 20 employees – up from 13 in October – raised $1.9 million in seed funding in the fall. Moody previously co-founded a company that was acquired by Apple for $356 million in 2012.
Pendo raised $1 million in seed funding in 2014 and attracted an additional $11 million in October. Today it has 31 employees, double the number it had in October.
Pendo’s customers include publicly traded customers such as FICO and Morrisville-based SciQuest, as well as software companies such as Coupa, JAMA Software, Neustar and Cary’s Dude Solutions.