Startup to confront social care crisis and enhance quality of elderly care

LONDON: A new link will enable a startup to confront the social care crisis and enhance the quality of elderly care.

Exactly one year after its launch, Lottie has made a seven-figure acquisition deal, fueling its mission to transform elderly care for the better. Now, more than ever before, the elderly are facing a crisis in care provision and Lottie wants to address that.

Across Europe, social care provision is in crisis. The fallout of the pandemic coupled with some questionable government decisions has left social care on its knees in many places. As a result, the elderly and their families are facing major obstacles in sourcing the right care, finding reasonable prices for it and having a quality experience throughout.

As Europe’s population grows older, caring for the elderly and providing sufficient quality care is a key challenge for governments and families across the continent. Tech could be the answer, bringing a digital approach that can streamline processes and provide greater oversight.

At the same time, looking for a social care provider for a loved one is a highly sensitive time and a digital approach to finding care needs to go hand-in-hand with a personal touch. Removing any undue stress and cost for the user.

This is what Lottie has set out to achieve with its later living marketplace which is endeavouring to radically transform elderly care. The startup has now acquired Found, a CRM software dedicated to the care sector.

Chris Donnelly, co-founder of Lottie: “There’s no denying that the social care sector needs more transparency and technology to keep up with demand”

The details

London-based Lottie has now completed the acquisition of Found, the UK’s leading CRM and occupancy care home software platform. The transaction totalled about €1.7 million.

It comes at the end of an exciting summer for the startup, which raised €7 million in July and hit a €52 million valuation. It’s backed by American Venture Capital Firm General Catalyst and chief executives from Airbnb, Zoopla and Monzo and continuing to scale fast.

This deal will bring new opportunities to Lottie, again building on the recent expansion beyond care homes into retirement living, giving retirees specialist support and expertise in finding alternative housing options for those who want to maintain their independence in later life.

Rethinking elderly care for the better

Founded by brothers Chris and Will Donnelly, Lottie was developed based on their personal experience of finding care for their family. The digital platform was launched as a care home comparison website that only works with the most vetted care providers, ensuring that care seekers find the right level of care at a fair price.

After just one year in business, the brothers have taken the elderly care market by storm. With over 2000 care homes listed on the site. After recently launching retirement living to further meet the demand for a variety of later life options, their mission to drive industry change hasn’t stopped there. Lottie is also free to use, meaning it is accessible to all and transforms a sector in dire need of some support.

Across Europe, the population is ageing and care provisions are under pressure. As people live longer, families increasingly need to find quality solutions for taking care of elderly relatives, while juggling other commitments such as childcare and work

According to Found, care homes are struggling. They reported that currently, 68% of all care enquiries aren’t responded to by care homes, 64% of digital enquiries weren’t responded to within 48 hours, and, a shocking 92% of enquiries weren’t followed up within a 7-day period

Chris Donnelly: “The care home sector has been in the spotlight like never before. After a turbulent few years with the pandemic – and recent delays in government social care reform – the later living sector needs continued support. There are positive signs that the care home industry has recovered from the pandemic and many homes continue to provide the highest level of personal care for all residents. However, we must place pressure on the Government to ensure the older generations’ needs are being always met, as well as offering solutions (like Found) to care homes that will ease the pressures they’re facing”.

A deal with social impact

The London-based marketplace is having a huge impact in the UK – supporting families across the country to choose better care options for their loved ones.

This merger allows Lottie to leverage Found’s pioneering CRM software. With it, care home managers gain more oversight on what’s happening and can better manage, prepare and strategise operations. It gives oversight on live bed availability, and the ability to respond to queries and track what’s going on. Its software can help care homes improve compliance, sales, and most importantly the standard of care provided.

Launched in 2019 by Dan Morris, Found has already supported hundreds of care home operators in their mission to bring technology into their homes. With over 10,000 new enquiries captured every month, Found partners have converted between 50-70% more of their enquiries.

Chris added: “Right now, we’re at a turning point for the social care sector. Our need for a diverse selection of residential, nursing and specialist care homes will increase as we get older. Care homes offer a great home-from-home experience for anyone that requires support in later life; and this should only improve, as new technology and health insights emerge”.

As the cost of living crisis spirals to nearly out-of-control levels, elderly care providers and care seekers have legitimately been concerned about what is to come. While some governments have been more proactive than others in tackling the problem, tech innovations such as the Lottie platform and Found software, coupled with impact-driven entrepreneurship like Chris and Will’s will prove crucial in providing people with the care they need.

Chris Donnelly: “There’s no denying that there are critical social issues facing the UK right now. The cost-of-living crisis, coupled with the rising energy costs, have led to financial worries and mental health issues across the country.

With the colder months coming up, there’s a huge risk of loneliness and social isolation – something that many startups in the health and tech industry are passionate about changing. We’re seeing more and more start-ups and technology companies making a huge difference; determined to provide solutions for problems that the UK are currently facing.

An aging population means a greater need for health and social care – and unfortunately, Government support right now isn’t enough. It was only a few months ago that the Government delayed crucial social care reform by 18 months.”

“That’s where startups come in: technology can be a huge lifeline and can bring generations together”

The brothers aim to rapidly scale Found over the next few months – hoping to mirror Lottie’s success over the last year. Changing the industry – is and always will be – at the heart of both businesses, as they hope to transform the elderly care sector to meet the needs of an ageing population.

Chris added: “Startups that are driving powerful and meaningful change to the social care sector are exactly what’s needed right now. They can also continue to raise awareness of the support needed from the Government, so the needs of every generation aren’t forgotten.”