Serent Snapshot: Lorraine Welty, Co-Founder of Raintree System

Serent Snapshot: Lorraine Welty, Co-Founder of Raintree System

April 2, 2024

Meet Lorraine Welty. Lorraine is co-founder of Raintree Systems, a medical software company that’s been providing software solutions to the medical industry for 36 years. We sat down with Lorraine to learn more about her experience with Serent Capital. 

“The founding of Raintree started when I was 16 years old, and I met Richard Welty, and he became my husband,” Lorraine remembers. “Growing up with him, he was a delightful nerd. He always had the computer going and was always coming up with different programming solutions. When I was 16 years old, he was already doing custom programming jobs for various industries, such as auto racing and inventory and truck scales. Computers were just part of his life and joy.” 

Growing Raintree From The Ground Up 

Over the years, Lorraine and Richard bootstrapped Raintree, starting from zero. “Our very first medical solution was using a Tandy computer, allowing doctors to key in their claim information. It was just miraculous to be able to show a doctor, yes, you can just type in the data here and we can print out a claim and send it for you,” Lorraine recalls. “I would go out and do a demonstration of the software. And if the doctor was interested, then Richard would do the installation of the software. And I would be in the front office with the staff doing the training. And so that’s kind of how we built the business. 

Before long, Raintree started to experience rapid growth. “We actually had a marketing company called Vicom that took that product, the very first product practice management system, and began marketing it to chiropractors in the Southern California area. That’s really when the business took off and at that point, Richard was receiving royalty checks and helping with the support team. 

Over time, Raintree thrived by strategically expanding its offerings. “Initially, our product was just practice management, scheduling, and revenue cycle management,” Lorraine recalls. “And then we started developing electronic medical records for various verticals – bariatric surgeons, rheumatology, oncology, and also physical therapy. And so the physical therapy market really took off. We had both adult physical therapy and pediatric language and physical therapy, and it really began to grow. We were able to bring clinicians on board to advise us and help the product grow and develop, and that’s where it has really blossomed.” 

Achieving Customer-Focused Growth 

While Lorraine and Richard were building a thriving business, they began to look for a growth partner to reach the next level. “Throughout our company’s 36 years of history, we had never partnered with anyone,” Lorraine recalls. “Our growth was organic, and our customers came from referrals from our existing customer base. But at one point about three years ago, we thought that we’d like to grow in a more exponential way. So we were looking at opportunities for growth more seriously. And we had also, during all this time, never taken any money off the table. 

When Lorraine and Richard met John Caselli, a principal at Serent Capital, they began to envision new possibilities for Raintree they’d never considered before. “We saw that there were definitely opportunities to bring on talent and leadership and skills that we did not have to turn our mom-and-pop shop into a more professional organization. Serent was aligned on our focus on our clients – taking care of them and making sure that they would continue to be the focus – because they were coming in infusing capital and talent. And they didn’t have a competing product that would displace us. That was what we really wanted. 

After Richard passed away unexpectedly in 2021, Lorraine knew that working with Serent to realize their vision for the company was the right next step. “And I’m so pleased that I have, because all the things that I spoke to John Caselli about have come true,” Lorraine reflects. “Bringing on the talent, helping us focus as an organization, focusing more acutely on exactly what we want to achieve, and communicating that clearly to our employees and our customers.” 

Building a Strong Executive Team 

Without Richard’s passing, it was critical for Lorraine and the Serent team to put an effective executive team in place. “That was a giant question mark – like, how is that gonna work without him driving the product? To keep product development and delivery was the toughest obstacle moving forward. Working with Serent as a partner, we were able to procure Mike Metzger as interim CEO to help with the messaging of where we were headed. 

Lorraine partnered with Serent to build a focused, actionable product roadmap. “When my husband was alive, he would hear a great idea and go, ‘let’s go do it.’ You know, it’s like 10 great ideas every day for 365 days a year. Very difficult. So, the difficult part of my role was – and still is – to focus on the product roadmap and make it manageable, actionable, and predictable. And that’s where Serent helped me, with the guidance of Craig Foos and John Caselli. They really helped us hone down exactly what we stood for, where we wanted to go, and what we wanted the value drivers to be. 

Looking forward, Lorraine sees a bright future ahead for Raintree. “What excites me the most about the future is the support that we have in transitioning to new platform tech. And that to me is very exciting. It’s long overdue. Our customers are just so hungry for that; they’re just going to be thrilled. The faster we can get to that new platform with new tech, the better. And so that’s where every morning I get up thrilled to go to work and decide, what are we going to do today?” 

Serent Capital invests in growing businesses that have developed compelling solutions that address their customers' needs. As those businesses grow and evolve, the opportunities and challenges that they face change with them. Principals at Serent Capital have firsthand experience at capturing those opportunities and navigating these difficulties through their experiences as CEOs, strategic advisors, and board members to successful growing businesses. By bringing its expertise and capital to bear, Serent seeks to help growing businesses thrive. Learn more about our portfolio companies.


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