Social care is an area under a lot of stress and workers and providers are finding it increasingly difficult to manage. As a result, across Europe, a social care staffing crisis is becoming uncovered, which has impacts across the entire society.
Launched in the UK in 2017 by NHS doctor Charles Armitage and ex-British Army officer Dan Blake in response to the crisis, Florence is using tech to revolutionise social care staffing. The health tech startup has just raised over €32.6 million in new funding. The Series B round was led by Axa Venture Partners with participation from Roo Capital and existing backers SEEK Investments.
Dr. Charles Armitage, co-founder explained the vision behind the startup: “We believe everyone should have the care and dignity they deserve. We see this funding as an investment in solving the issues our broken system faces on a daily basis, which disproportionately impact the most vulnerable people in our society.”
The tech innovators has developed a free app which can be used to connect nurses with open shifts. It cuts out agency middlemen so shifts are filled directly with the right temporary staff. The app also provides care organisations with the intuitive rota and e-learning tools.
So far, 10k e-learners, 90k care professionals and over 2,000 care organisations have signed up to Florence. With 11% of staff in both the NHS and social care permanently leaving the sector in 2021, the need for better ways to keep skilled people in the profession is more urgent than ever.
Imran Akram, Axa Venture Partners General Partner, commented: “There is a global shortage of healthcare workers, and staff management is very outdated compared to other industries. Florence is tackling these issues head-on, and we are really impressed with what the team have done to date. Most of all, we’re excited to be part of realising their ambitious plans for care in the future.”
After increasing revenue fivefold in 2021-22, and a successful launch in Northern Ireland, Florence now serves more than a quarter of social care in the UK and operates across 99% of the country.
Florence will use this funding round to achieve further product innovation and open new markets. With increased digital services a key point of the government’s £500m levy to nurture adult social care talent, Florence’s expansion comes at a crucial time to help the sector grow.
Dan Blake, Florence co-founder also said: “Making sure our nurses and care providers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and support needed for their role is essential for providing quality care, and remains at the heart of our mission at Florence.”
In our world that is increasingly associated with challenges and crises, impact-driven startups that are on a mission to genuinely improve lives for the better are positive signs to see. Given the pertinency of Florence’s offering, it’ll be exciting to see what’s next for the young team.