Josh Bruno was lucky to be able to spend more time than most with his grandfather, who lived to the ripe old age of 98. But the last five years were a chaotic, tumultuous time, Bruno says.
The problem was how to care for his grandfather. Trying to take on caring for a senior can quickly sap the energy of a family, and hiring a caregiver can be a terrifying experience. You just don’t know what you’re going to get, Bruno explains.
“Only 20% of the time a caregiver sticks,” Bruno says. Bruno attributes that statistic to a lack of professionalization in the care-giving industry, which often uses independent contractors who lack training, adequate compensation, and a viable career path.
Bruno’s startup, Hometeam, is one of a few long-term senior care companies trying to upend that model using technology and more rigorous training and accountability for caregivers.
On Monday, Hometeam announced a partnership with CareOne, a New Jersey health care provider that discharges 20,000 patients every year.
While some technology companies, like Uber, have shaken up traditional industries by moving toward the flexibility that comes with independent contractors, Hometeam took the opposite approach.
“At first, we were a manual company,” Bruno says. Hometeam developed a training system and brought all its caregivers, which now number around 1,000, onto its payroll as W2 employees. Bruno wanted to move away from the unreliability of the independent contractor model.
Why hadn’t the industry moved this way before?
“Most [legacy] companies couldn’t use [venture capital] money to invest in training,” Bruno says. Hometeam, to date, has raised $38.5 million.
After creating an employee model, the tech platform came next.
Hometeam provides a matching model for patients and caregivers around not just medical needs, but also things like shared interests. The platform gives families increased check-in ability as well, via an iPad in every home.
For this combination of training and tech, Hometeam clients pay around $24-25 per hour. And the average client receives 44 hours per week of care, according to Bruno.
Using these numbers, and the approximately 1,000 active and full-time caregivers Hometeam employs, it seems Hometeam could be pulling in at least $54 million in yearly revenue (assuming there aren’t a significant amount of unplaced caregivers on payroll).
Hometeam isn’t the only startup going after this space with tech.
Hometeam currently operates in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, but hopes to expand to 10 new markets by the end of 2016.