Startups, Health IT

Caregiving service startup KindlyCare raises $3.1M for California-Texas launch

MHS Capital led the round with participation from Floodgate and Jackson Square Ventures.

KindlyCare

KindlyCare’s companion app is designed to help families see that caregivers have completed the tasks assigned.

Caregiving startup KindlyCare has launched in California and Texas, coinciding with a $3.1 million fundraise, according to a news release. The rise in the senior population has spurred a number of companies purporting to provide caregiver support for needs of seniors and their family needs.

MHS Capital led the round with participation from Floodgate and Jackson Square Ventures.

The two year-old company’s caregiving service is available in California cities including Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego, as well as Dallas-Fort Worth, according to the website. KindlyCare’s growth strategy  shadows Honor’s to a certain extent. Honor initially targeted the Bay area and then Los Angeles before adding Dallas-Fort Worth this year.

KindlyCare views itself as a business focused more on long-term relationships with families than addressing urgent, short-term needs as a traditional agency model would, KindlyCare Founder Igor Lebovic responded in an email.

“In the traditional agency model, the caregiver is the employee of the agency, and the agency has full control over their time. That’s an advantage when trying to coordinate a shift that needs to be staffed very quickly,” Lebovic said. “In our model, the caregiver is the employee of the family, and both parties have to agree to work with each other. While this leads to longer matching times, it does have the benefit of allowing the family to hand-select who they want to work with.”

The vetting process includes reference checks, a background check, reviewing the driving record of applicants, personality testing and multiple interviews, according to the website.

The company charges a commission of 15 percent to 20 percent depending on the number of hours worked each week.

So many of these caregiving businesses liken themselves to Match.com or Uber. Although KindlyCare avoids that kind of pitch, it seems like it wants to be an eHarmony of caregiving — particularly with the emphasis on long-term relationships.

It is getting more and more difficult for caregiving startups to set themselves apart, there are so many of them trying to achieve similar things. Currently the greatest challenges is figuring out the best path to scaling their business in multiple markets. Most of the startups in this space tend to be regional players. I suspect these companies will eventually need to partner up with another similar startup in a different market or an agency to significantly grow marketshare in this concierge care subsector. Securing reimbursement from a national or regional payer will also make a big difference.

Photo: Chung Sung-Jun, Getty Images