Home care delivery start-up raises $1.2 million, expands operations
February 28, 2022
TORONTO – Gotcare (https://gotcare.ca), a start-up home care delivery platform, has raised $1.2M in funding to improve accessibility and affordability of home care services while expanding its operations into other regions of the country.
The three-year old company aims to modernize the home care industry using technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to match every client with the right home care worker; provide real-time reporting and pay every care aide a living wage.
“At Gotcare, our model is based on relationships, keeping care in the community, and giving families the ability to choose (virtually) the right match for them – in advance,” said company co-founder and CEO, Chenny Xia. “Recently, we received a referral from an Indigenous client, and we were able to locate a suitable case worker who lived close by, and who herself was Indigenous – all by 2 p.m. that same day. This is true personalized care.”
Gotcare receives patient referrals from occupational therapists and nurse case managers and connects patients to the most ideal care aide using advanced software. This patent-pending computer algorithm uses AI to pair the right home care worker with the right patient, based on the type of care required, proximity, language, and other culturally relevant factors.
Moreover, Gotcare streamlines administrative tasks for care workers and families by taking care of all paperwork and reporting.
The company currently operates in Ontario, BC, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador, and is powered by a network of more than 15,000 care workers. That number is expected to rise as they expand to other regions and rural areas of Canada. For the home care industry that’s welcomed news.
According to the Ontario Science Table, pre-COVID, home care organizations could fill 9.5 out of every 10 requested visits. But as of August 21, 2021, that number plummeted to just four out of every 10 requested visits.
Some of the reasons for staff leaving the industry include poor compensation, stress due to COVID and feeling under-valued for the work they do. Xia explained that home care workers face very high physical and mental demands on the job.
Additionally, their current rate-of-pay is not enough to earn a living – it’s why many are forced to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.
“Taking care of our elderly and disabled citizens should not be a minimum-wage paying job,” said Xia. “Care work is deeply undervalued and underdeveloped from a technological lens and our team is supporting the much-needed shift from ‘survive’ to ‘thrive’ by building a home care experience that we’d seek for our own loved ones – one that is modern, personalized, and equitable.”
The home care industry pays an average of $18 to $20 per hour. However, using technology to lower the cost of care by up to 30%, Gotcare is using that savings to pay its workforce between $23 to $28 per hour.
By collaborating with investment companies, Gotcare is able to secure funding as well as support all aspects of building a successful business. Working with the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, Red Thread Ventures and SheEO, Gotcare is receiving the collaboration, initiative, and network to increase access to care for patients, as well as advisory support for government relations as they grow.
“As we move from institutional setting to home care setting, Gotcare will help extend the role and importance of home care workers,” said Xia. “Our approach is to leverage technology to pay care workers more while making care more accessible and affordable.”