British startup Birdie raises €9.5 million to reinvent care for older people

Birdie, the startup reinventing elderly care at home, today announces that it has raised around 9.5 million led by international venture capital firm Index Ventures and with participation from Kamet Ventures. The investment will be used to scale the business and invest in product innovation.

Across the world, there is a social care crisis. The traditional care system is outdated and inefficient and, with more people living longer than ever, it can’t cope. The startup states that the number of people over 65 will double by 2050, and while people are living longer, they are falling sick at the same age. This increases pressure on an already strained care system.

Birdie is addressing this crisis by reinventing care for older people, partnering with care providers to support the ageing population in living healthily and happily at home for longer.  Birdie’s intuitive and easy to use app is the operating system for care providers to efficiently deliver more coordinated, personalised and preventative care.

With Birdie, the care community can plan and assess care as well as support its delivery. Caregivers decrease time spent on non-critical work like admin, freeing them up to spend more time face-to-face with their care recipients. It also saves them money and allows carers to more easily communicate and share information with an older person’s other care providers, health practitioners, and their families. A SaaS-based solution at its core, Birdie aims to become the technology hub for personalised, preventative care at home.

Max Parmentier founded Birdie after experiencing his own frustrations with the care system. He watched his grandfather struggle with the impact of life in a care home, but lacked any other care option. In 2017, he partnered with venture builder Kamet Ventures to fix this problem and set up Birdie.

Since then, Birdie has partnered with almost 500 providers across the UK, and now supports more than 20,000 older people every week. In the past 12 months, Birdie has seen six times growth in the number of older people it supports and more than 3,000 family members now turn to Birdie each week for peace of mind about their loved ones. Birdie is also piloting innovative care models such as partnering with the NHS to identify COVID-19 symptoms, building polypharmacy AI models, and helping Nottinghamshire health authorities to detect early warning signs of patients’ health risks.

The funding announced today will be used to power Birdie’s next phase of growth in the UK as the company scales to meet rapidly growing demand among the care community. Birdie will also invest in product innovation, creating new features to address customer requests.

A B-corp certified social enterprise, Birdie practices ‘radical transparency’, including making all salaries transparent, and its distributed team works asynchronously to maximise staff flexibility and equity. Birdie takes its responsibility to society and the environment seriously – including by its team volunteering in the local community during office hours and offsetting all its emissions. It has been recognised by numerous awards including for having the best SME culture in the UK.

Commenting, CEO and Co-founder Max Parmentier said: “Right now, the $1 trillion elderly care market is woefully underserved, even though it’s growing 8% per year. The care system is at breaking point and many older people aren’t getting the care they deserve. We believe the future of care for older people should be helping them to live at home for as long as possible through the delivery of personalised and preventative care. Birdie is already the partner of choice for caregivers up and down the UK, and this funding will help us rapidly increase the number we partner with and what we can offer them – meaning more people benefiting from more affordable, quality care. We’re proud of our mission and the values we embody to pursue it.” 

Stephane Kurgan, Venture Partner at Index Ventures, said: “Our ageing society and increasing healthcare costs require us to rethink the way we care for frailer populations like the elderly. Technology gives us the tools, as the care sector has remained widely paper-based and is ripe for disruption. By investing in caretech with Birdie, we are investing in solving the daily challenges of the care community. We firmly believe in Birdie’s vision to make care more personalised and more preventative so that older people can age at home longer, healthier and happier. We’ve been impressed by Birdie’s traction and the calibre of its team, and are very excited to embark on this journey with them.”

James Deeley, Chief Executive of Alina Homecare, said: “Birdie has delivered from day one as a strong technology partner for our Group. Our values and aspirations are closely aligned and Birdie is transforming the way we deliver and monitor our care, with more than 30,000 visits channelled every month through their platform.”