Better Caring, a peer-to-peer marketplace for aged care and disability support services, has today announced a raise of $3 million from Ellerston Ventures. The Series B round is the fourth investment made by Ellerston Ventures, who also has shareholdings in HiPages and Genero.
Founded by Peter Scutt and Tony Charara, Better Caring is a Sydney healthtech startup that connects people with a disability, or those who need aged care services with local support workers. The startup provides access to care rates that are substantially lower than the NDIS [National Disability Insurance Scheme].
The full rollout of the NDIS took place in July this year, however changes are set to be made in February 2017. The changes are aimed at improving consumer choice across the $20 billion industry. With the shift away from large providers, Scutt believes Better Caring is well positioned to accelerate growth and give the power back to consumers and workers.
Australia’s population is ageing and the government predicts that over the next 40 years, the proportion of people over the ages of 65 will almost double to 25 percent. It’s common that people want to live at home for as long as possible, however without support services and local care workers this is simply not possible.
Scutt explained that his situation was very typical, “My father was in his early 90s and very frail and mum was in her mid 80s with dementia that was getting progressively worse. Like most people they wanted to remain living in their own home and community, and that was in country NSW.”
With wanting to remain in their own home, Scutt’s parents received government subsidised aged care services. Those services would come through large, non-for-profit organisations that were funded by the government.
“My dad would complain about the number of different workers that were rostered through the house and he would not know who was coming in to shower and dress mum until there was a knock on the door. There could be 20 different people over a month and obviously that’s quite confronting,” said Scutt.
Scutt’s parents would rather deny services and manage on their own, than have no say over who comes into their home.
“We clearly knew that they couldn’t manage on their own. So we started looking for alternative services. I realised at that point that those providers were charging $50 per hour and often paying people $22 an hour and not giving people choice of worker,” said Scutt.
Scutt decided to create a marketplace where consumers could choose the right carer for them. Better Caring aims to shift care work from task orientated to relationship orientated, so people who need support can connect with people they can get to know and trust.
Rather than just providing consumers with an online directory, Better Caring has built its own tech to create a full marketplace solution. On behalf of the workers, Better Caring generates invoices, processes payments, conducts reporting and evaluates feedback from clients. The startup has an on boarding process, requiring all workers to complete security and safety checks before they start.
Better Caring has already delivered more than 70,000 hours of care across the east coast of Australia and will look at expanding its offering to more regional communities. The latest funding round will also help the startup to grow its team in operations, marketing and technology.
Ellerston Ventures investment director, David Leslie said, “Community aged care and disability support represents a high growth opportunity. Connecting those who need care and support services directly with a community of care workers is a simple, yet revolutionary solution that delivers greater choice and flexibility to consumers.”
Image: Better Caring Team. Source: Supplied.