The UK elderly care sector comprises 12,500 care homes with a combined total of 480,000 registered beds. A rapidly ageing population means the elderly care sector will be unsustainable by 2028 without increased investment, improved transparency and new technology.
Attempting to tackle this issue is newly launched UK-based Lottie, which recently closed its pre-seed investment round of £500,000 at a pre-money valuation of £5 million.
The investment round was led by Tom Blomfield (Founder and CEO of Monzo), Victoria van Lennep (Founder of Lendable), Accel (backed other early-stage businesses inc. Deliveroo, Fiver, Monzo), Jacob Haddad (Founder of AccuRx), Dominic McGregor (Founder of Social Chain and Government Adviser).
Revolutionising elderly care sector
The new startup is a digital marketplace that aims to connect care seekers to the UK’s best care homes and at a fair price. Lottie will be the world’s first live booking service in the care sector. The website – which is designed to be engaging and user friendly – allows care seekers and care providers to digitally communicate and negotiate/sign a resident agreement online. Care seekers can add and remove additional extras for their loved ones, from meditation and book clubs to outdoor activities, with the cost bar changing accordingly per click to create a bespoke package. It also allows family members to book day trips and activities with their loved ones that they can share together.
Data insight is also key for the company. It has garnered interest from hundreds of the UK’s best care homes, eager to learn exactly what people now expect from residencies as the world emerges from Covid.
Enhancing care standards
Lottie is currently a team of five including its two co-founders, Chris and Will Donnelly, and ex–Lendable product lead, James Payne. The company’s co-founder Chris Donnelly, 30, who also built Verb Brands 10 years ago, explained: “Our data insights will revolutionise the elderly care sector by increasing market transparency, improving data availability and enhancing care standards. Lottie will be the industry’s most advanced technology platform, designed by conducting detailed research and surveys with care seekers and care providers. Designed for the care seeker of tomorrow, post-covid.”
Co-founder Will Donnelly, 26, who has years of high-level background in care, explained: “Through our personal experience of finding care for a dear family member, we realised the sector is woefully inadequate and we are attempting to address this challenge with Lottie.”
The Donnelly brothers see 2021 as a trial run and learn what today’s modern care seeker wants from tomorrow’s care home experience. To date, the company has taken a lean approach and worked with several 3rd party partners including Greenbox Designs (Branding & Design), Powered by Coffee (Development) and Verb Brands (Marketing).
Designed for care seeker of tomorrow
Unlike existing comparison websites, the company only partners with the UK’s best care operators who provide outstanding care, a thriving home environment and an ethical service. From cinemas and salons to day trips and fitness classes, the startup will list properties that offer enhanced care and home experience and culture like no other.
Chris said: “Elderly people and relatives are given the freedom to design their dream care package, while care partners benefit from higher resident admissions, increased revenue and a streamlined booking process. Lottie will be the industry’s most advanced technology platform, optimised to simplify, streamline and super- charge the care home search process. Lottie’s tech platform has been built with both care seekers and care providers in mind.”
The care giving startup will use the funding to invest further into product development and technology, increase its marketing spend ahead of the MVP launch and make several key hires including a CTO and Head of Care Quality.
Simplifying process of finding care home
Lottie’s marketplace has launched in England’s south-east region with a capped capacity of 250 care homes, ranging from the sector’s leading not-for-profit and private organisations, through to the industry’s best rated and most innovative care providers. Beyond this, the founders aim to roll out Lottie into every care and retirement market throughout the UK and to launch several pioneering data products.