GrannyTech: 5 promising European startups keeping our grandparents busy

Did you know that one in five EU citizens is over 65 years of age? Whatsmore, the population of people aged 65 years and older will continue to increase significantly in the EU; at the start of 2019, the senior population was 90.5 million and is expected to increase to 129.8 million by 2050.

As our global aging population grows, we should not overlook the proliferation of startups being built especially for the senior citizens. This tech industry is commonly referred to as “silvertech” or “agetech” – and it’s showing no signs of stopping growth.

At EU-Startups, we have been keeping an eye on this industry, and tracking which are the most promising players in our Euuropean ecosystem. Common themes of silvertech startups are products to help manage senior health and improve quality of life for seniors through care services. One of the most pressing issues for seniors is isolation and loneliness, which is linked to serious health conditions. In normal times and particularly during the pandemic, we worry about how seniors keep themselves busy.

There is a general perception that senior people are ‘technophobes’ and are not receptive to new ideas. Contrary to popular belief, innovative solutions are not exclusively for younger demographics. There are a few remarkable startups in Europe that we want to highlight that are helping to enrich the lives of elders and to keep them busy after retirement. These unique and simple to use solutions for the elderly help them to stay connected with their families and loved ones and also combat social isolation.

Each of these startups was founded in the last few years, has a cool innovative product or service, and shows promising signs, such as recently raising funding, or growing their team. So let’s get to it:

Colette – Colette, founded in 2019, is a French social impact startup creating a co-living solution for students and young workers, by finding accommodation with seniors’ who have a spare room in their home. The startup offers a mutual benefit for young people and seniors. It helps young people to access affordable housing and also to help seniors combat loneliness. They have launched in Paris with the intention of expanding across France and then eventually to other European cities. Colette recently raised €1 million in funding.

Cutii – Cutii, founded in 2015, is a companion robot dedicated to improve the wellbeing of elderly people at home and in senior living communities. Cutii stands at 1.2m to 1.45m tall (its height varies as it has an adjustable neck) with voice control features. It can also autonomously navigate itself. Through Cutii, seniors in care homes can make video calls to their family and friends, access entertainment through activities like watching videos, games, and readings, and also have teleconsultations with doctors. Cutii is designed in Roubaix, France. The company currently employs 15 people and is also expanding across the US.

KOMP by No Isolation – KOMP is a one-button computer that serves as a communication device for seniors. Through KOMP, families and friends can share photos and messages, and make video calls with elders. KOMP is designed with the fact that seniors today are not typically tech savvy. Seniors were involved in the process of designing KOMP, and it is easy to use with an uncomplicated user interface. KOMP was developed by Norwegian startup, No Isolation (founded in 2015) that is on a mission to reduce social isolation and involuntary loneliness through communication tools.

Alphonse – Alphonse started as “Les Talents d’Alphonse” which was a platform for young retirees to offer their skills to the younger population. After 3 years of running Les Talents d’Alphonse, they have engaged over 60,000+ young retirees and 40,000 hours of knowledge sharing between generations. Last year, they shifted their business to help people transition into retirement. They do this through their training programmes to prepare people for retirement to assist with creating retirement plans and their weekly newsletter with tips on how people can enjoy their retirement. Alphonse was founded in 2016, is based in Paris and has around 20 employees.

Entoureo – Entoureo (founded in 2019) is a French startup that helps people to create a box of memories with seniors in their family. Each Entoureo box comes with recording equipment and thematic interview guides. With the box, people record the conversations that they have with their family. Entoureo transcribes conversations automatically, people can add photos in to digital books through their website then order physical copies of the books. Digital copies of the transcriptions and books are also stored safely on Entoureo’s platform. Entoureo’s box is a wholesome way to bring families together, people to learn more about their families’ history, and preserve seniors’ memories.

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!