Kyle Hill had never seen his father cry before. That changed in 2011 when his grandmother’s caregiver stole her jewellery and abandoned her for 16 hours — Hill’s father was forced to resign from his job and temporarily move to fix the situation.
This inspired Hill to create HomeHero, a non-medical senior home care marketplace that cuts down the frustrating work of sifting through thousands of profiles to match a family to one trustworthy caregiver. Hill launched the company along with best friend Mike Townsend in 2014, and has since provided over one million hours of care.
“It was a mindnumbingly frustrating process to go through the 14,000 résumés generated by care.com,” Hill told Business Insider on Monday. “The situation with my grandmother made me realise that this industry is broken.”
On Tuesday, the California-based startup announced $US20 million in a round of funding led by Graham Holdings, the former owner of
“Let me be honest, I never thought that I would work in the senior homecare industry at 28 years old,” Hill said. “A couple of years ago, I didn’t even know what a caregiver was.”
But, according to the tech engineer, it made a lot of sense to dive in. Senior care is expected to be the fasting growing industry for employment from 2012 to 2022 due to ageing baby boomers. The senior population, those who are 85 and older, will double by 2030.
Indeed, Hill isn’t the only one to see an opportunity to improve home care. In April, Honour unveiled a similar service backed by $US20 million in funding from its own list of big-name investors including VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.
“With HomeHero, you get real time connectivity with your 24/7 care, superior experience and a fraction of the cost,” Hill told Business Insider. “You’re basically getting a web 2.0 version of the traditional homecare service.”
This is the way HomeHero works: users are matched with three individually-chosen caregivers, referred to as “heroes”, and then get to watch HD interview with all of them before they settle on one. Each caregiver has to be approved by HomeHero before they can start, and only 12 per cent of applicants become heroes.
HomeHero also manages to reduce home care costs for families by 40 per cent — while most agencies charge around $US30/hr, Homehero charges $US18. Caregivers are also earning more, as Homehero cuts out the extra costs typical to homecare agencies thanks to technology, according to Hill.
The company uses a dispatch system similar to Postmates to reach out to dozens of caregivers within seconds, while most agencies have excel spreadsheets and make manual phone calls. There is a lot of other tech going on behind the scenes, said Hill, like automated payments, scheduling and text notifications.
“We currently only operate in three cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego,” Hill said. “We’re going to expand to ten markets in the next 18 months.”