In the midst of a busy national marketplace for online senior living search solutions, one San Fransisco-based startup is quietly taking a local approach to the growing need. Now six months and 300 communities later, it’s eyeing its next market for growth.
Seniorly.com is the brainchild of several Bay Area entrepreneurs, including Arthur Bretschneider, a third-generation senior living operator. No stranger to the senior living market, Bretschneider and his colleagues have launched the platform for local senior living options, while having raised about $550,000 in initial funds through friends, family and angel investors.
Through the initial rollout, Seniorly is seeing early traction: The platform is now partnered with more than 300 communities in Northern California, and says it will be rolling out soon to its next market.
“We are building this platform to scale it into major markets that have an immediate need,” says Bretschneider, the company’s CEO. “We are highly focused on where we are in Northern California, but we are looking at another market pretty closely right now. At the same time we are developing a lot of new features that are all geared toward making [senior living] decisions.”
But at a time when many are entering the crowded space for senior living search, what sets Seniorly apart?
“It’s a very simple, streamlined search experience,” Bretschneider says. “The providers manage their profiles, real time listings, pricing, photos and videos. There’s a lot more information for people to get a sense of what the community is about without having to get it from a third party.”
The company is not out to compete with lead gaints such as A Place For Mom and Caring.com, but sees the value in their presence in a growing market.
“We like the giants because they are market validators,” Bretschneider says. “But we do things differently. We are about bringing the more viable information online and letting searchers search at their own pace. We are helping them to make better decisions.”
So far, the company’s reach extends in its local market, and the roll-out to other markets could happen in the coming months. Interested investors have been available, Bretschneider says, with more interest rising. A recent capital raise by home care company Honor has led to more attention among capital sources in the senior care space, he notes.
“I think you are now seeing institutional investors with their eyes open,” he says. “As an early startup, we are looking to our next phase and will be looking to another round of capital raise.”
As for future plans for the platform itself, Bretschneider says there is an app in the works and more potential ahead.
“Providers need more channels. They need to reach more consumers,” he says.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker