Lifted, a London-based startup that lets users book at-home care via an app, has raised close to $2 million in a seed fundraising round.
Backed by Fuel Ventures, the VC firm set up by MyVoucherCodes founder Mark Pearson, Lifted raised £1.5 million (about $1.85 million) in seed money.
Lifted employs 40 carers and has committed to paying them the London Living Wage of £10.75 ($13.30) an hour. Its app tells users about their carer and lets them leave feedback on the care they receive.
“Eight years ago, my mother was diagnosed with dementia,” she told Business Insider. “And while the people who visited and cared for her were wonderful, I was frustrated by how little I knew about them.
“I’m a millennial, I’m used to being able to pull out my phone, order an Uber, know who’s coming to pick me up, and that there’s a way for me to leave feedback.
“Why should you know more about the person giving you a lift than the person you’ve trusted to look after a loved one?”
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately hit the elderly and vulnerable, and many families have been forced to choose between placing their loved ones in care homes or arranging house visits.
In the UK, many care workers are employed by agencies that demand lots of home visits in a short space of time. They often have insecure pay and no guaranteed hours.
“It’s all well and good to clap for carers,” said Crook. “But it’s really important to us that they get paid a proper wage, and we’re developing new features to help them progress in their career and feel rewarded for the work they do.”
Mark Pearson, founder and managing partner at Fuel Ventures, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be leading this latest round of investment.
“We’ve seen several propositions that are looking to innovate the care sector, but Lifted really impressed us.
“The care sector is highly fragmented and both carers and patients are very dispersed, so creating a solution that works for both sides is incredibly important if we’re going to create real change.”