Corporate and strategic investors continue to sink large sums into technology startups addressing seniors’ health, but there still is massive opportunity for growth in this sector. The rise of these technologies has major implications for senior housing providers, as some startups hold promise for improving resident care and the bottom line, while others could create challenges, such as by changing referral patterns.
So far in 2015, companies creating technology products relevant to the health of the 50-plus population have received a total of $1.3 billion in funding, according to a recently released StartUp Health Insights Report. It tracks seed, venture, corporate venture and private equity funding.
The report defines a company as “relevant” to 50-plus consumers if it is creating products or services that serve this population as well as others. It includes business-to-business companies but only if they also have a consumer touchpoint; so, for example, compliance software is excluded.
While these 50-plus relevant companies have received 46% of all digital health funding year-to-date, only 3% of those companies are specifically focused on the senior market.
“While this may be perceived as a lack of appetite from investors, we firmly believe that there is a huge opportunity gap for more companies to focus exclusively on this population,” the report states.
Cambia Health Solutions, khosla ventures and Qualcomm Ventures top the rankings of firms that have invested in these senior-relevant companies. Each of these firms has participated in four deals so far this year.
So far, there have been 134 deals in the 50-plus space in 2015. This puts it on track with last year, which saw 267 deals total. Funding in this space has been tracking up since 2010, when only 73 deals were recorded by StartUp Health Insights.
Among the notable deals so far in 2015, the report singles out the recent $20 million Series A round for HomeHero and the $4 million Series A round for Caremerge.
HomeHero seeks to take the home health agency out of the equation and directly connect clients with caregivers. Caremerge is a care coordination and communication platform for the senior care industry. It has partnered with senior living heavy-hitters such as Life Care Services.
While it is not mentioned by name in the report, Seniorly is another tech startup generating buzz. It is offering senior living referrals with a local emphasis in Northern California and has raised $550,000 from angel investors and other sources.
Written by Tim Mullaney