Age Up Health has secured investment from the Alice Anderson Fund, LaunchVic’s $10 million VC fund for female entrepreneurs.
The fund offers up to $300,000 in matched capital to early-stage startups.
Age Up, which launched in March 2020, provides home care packages to help elderly people stay in their homes, taking the sector into the digital age. It counts Skalata Ventures among its backers.
Founder and CEO Grace Petherick was driven by her personal experience and her own grandparents, who didn’t want to end up in a nursing home, and had a bad experience with home care, to launch Age Up Health. She was trekking the Himalayas with her parents when the idea took shape and she called her partner back in Melbourne and they pooled their savings to bootstrap the business.
Petherick said she set out to revolutionise aged care with contemporary servicing and smarter tech-led solutions in a sector that’s remained largely unchanged for the past century.
“I knew I could do better. Solving the industry’s biggest pain points with a truly consumer-focussed outlook is central to what we do, and then using accessible technology to meet people where they are at,” she said.
“Our data reveals even some of our oldest clients use mobile and SMS communications, so conversational automation is one way we’re reaching clients, who under traditional models have been left without services, or communications. We’re rethinking the whole model to give older people what they deserve.”
Petherick said they want to keep it simple, with a single fee and the same support people for each visit. The offerings range from allied health to dementia care and palliative health, as well as iPad education.
“We help you shape home care to suit you and give you the flexibility to make changes anytime,” she said.
The Melbourne Business School MBA graduate has worked in corporate, tourism and VIP services in five countries and Age Up has seen her nominated as a finalist for the Telstra Business Awards as well as receiving a City of Melbourne Innovative Business Grant.
LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick praised Age Up Health as a Victorian startup on the rise.
“The Alice Anderson Fund was developed by LaunchVic to drive investment to women-led startups,” she said.
“We are really thrilled to back founders like Grace who are challenging conventional pathways in the aged care industry to build a product that is making a genuine impact.”