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VC arm of Kaiser Permanente backs New York startup providing care for the elderly
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Hometeam, provider of home care for seniors, today announced that it has raised $5 million in new funding from Kaiser Permanente Ventures, the venture capital arm of healthcare consortium Kaiser Permanente.
In total, Hometeam has raised $38.5 million from IA Ventures, Lux Capital, Recruit Strategic Partners, and Oak HC/FT. (To learn more about Oak, check out our recently published interview with Nancy Brown, one of the firm’s venture partners.)
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in New York, Hometeam offers a service for you to provide care for your parents or other elderly relatives that need assistance. Assistance can take the form of meals, medication, hygiene, or some combination of the above, and all activities are shared through an iOS app for you to follow everything that’s happening.
The company and its investors see a big, growing market need for these kinds of services, citing an estimate that the over-65 crowd will reach 20 percent of the population by 2030.
A big selling point for the company are its caregivers, which Hometeam says have (on average) five years of experience, must interview and provide references, and (for registered nurses) must be certified. And they're fully insured.
Pricing depends on the extent of service needed. Hometeam's most popular option is "home care" costs about $20 to $27 per hour, with a caregiver able to prepare meals, do laundry, or help with hygiene. "Adult day services," which add in "companionship and mental stimulation" through activities like art therapy and horticultural workshops, cost about $65 per day
Unlike models often seen in the on-demand economy, the caregiver network for Hometeam is staffed by full-time workers who get health insurance, performance-based pay increases, and opportunities for career growth. It makes sense. Healthcare requires a bit more skill and validation than, say, driving work or handyman tasks.
For over 15 years, Kaiser Permanente Ventures has tapped into its approximately $400 million in managed venture capital to invest in new healthcare IT services. A few of its investments have seen exits over the past decade, including an IPO for Emageon in 2005, acquisition of NextWeb by Covad Communications in 2006, and acquisition of Concerro by API Healthcare in 2012.
The service is currently available in New York (Bronx, Kings County, New York, Queens), New Jersey (Essex, Hudson, Mercer), and Philadelphia. Hometeam says it will use the new funding to continue expanding its service across the U.S. while further developing its technology offering.
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