Elderly care startup Patronus has just scooped up the biggest Series A raise for the sector, bagging €27 million. The Berlin-based team is aiming to support seniors go about their daily lives independently, relieving the burden on carers and relatives.
Europe’s population is getting older. Along with that, comes a whole spectrum of health challenges to overcome and address. With age comes wisdom, but it also comes with more aches and pains, more health problems and more care needs.
At the same time, Europe’s healthcare system is currently overburdened and underfunded. There’s a shortage of doctors and carers across the continent and the system as a whole is under unprecedented stress – which hasn’t been helped by the pandemic. This has caused a move towards tech-based health solutions that can empower at-home care and give patients more responsibility and personalisation of their care without the need to rely on carers, doctors and hospitals. The so-called silver economy is a growing market and it’s fresh with new ideas.
Based in Berlin, Patronus is an impact-driven startup determined to relieve the burden on carers in the face of Europe’s demographic change and the widening shortage of carers and doctors. The startup has now picked up fresh funding and is set to soar.
Nico Wittenborn, Founder of Adjacent: “This year, there are two Germans retiring for every German that enters work life. This is reflective of a big shift in demographics globally and will require us to find better ways to care for our elderly. Patronus is helping to address this issue through innovative and unobtrusive technology with best-in-class consumer subscription metrics.”
Marking the largest ever series A round in elderly care in Europe, Patronus has just closed €27 million. The oversubscribed round was led by Paris-based investor Singular and NYC-based Adjacent with participation from Burda Principal Investments (BPI) as well as existing investors Cavalry Ventures and UVC Partners.
It comes less than a year after its €6 million seed round lift.
Ben Staudt, co-founder of Patronus: “A funding round of this size in the current market environment is not something to be taken for granted. It demonstrates the relevance and urgency that demographic change entails – and the conviction that tech can significantly contribute to addressing the challenges that come with it. The new funding allows us to relentlessly follow our vision of building a world where aging is delightful and dignified. And we are thrilled to have Singular, Adjacent and BPI – in addition to our existing partners Cavalry and UVC – join us in our mission.”
With the new funding, Patronus plans to continue its high growth trajectory. After an ongoing beta test of the family app is finalized, Patronus plans to roll out the app in Q4 this year. At the same time, the company will explore opportunities to expand its product range to other stakeholders who can benefit from the digital access point for elderly users.
Providing peace of mind
Launched in 2021, Patronus aims to address the most pressing problem of elderly people – the fear of ending up in an emergency situation and not getting any help. It happens far too many times – an elderly person trips in their home and can’t get any help.
With elderly people spending the majority of their time by themselves, their daily lives are significantly impacted by this fear. Patronus is solving this problem by offering software that turns smartwatches into digital watches for the elderly. The watch software enables a 24/7 connection to the emergency call centre which has access to the user’s health records and caregiver contacts. It can be used both at home and on the move through a wide-ranging collaboration with Deutsche Telekom.
Ben Staudt, co-founder, explained: “By wearing the watch, our elderly users know that they can get help if anything happens to them. This makes them more confident and they are less likely to reduce their daily activities. Our goal is to enable the elderly to remain more independent, and we are already seeing this with thousands of our users. On the other hand, the watch and its software create a unique digital access point to the elderly, which can be leveraged by anyone who is involved in caring for the elderly user.”
Currently, Patronus focuses on offering family members options to be closer to the person being cared for, giving that sought-after peace of mind. This is achieved via the Patronus app which connects the user directly to their family. feature. In addition, family members receive a variety of other information about the cared-for through the app, such as their location and activities.
But the agetech innovators have plans to go further. They want to make the app accessible to a wider circle of caregivers, such as in-home caregivers, nursing homes and doctors. By providing comprehensive digital data, the care of the elderly will become more efficient and personalized.
Therefore, in addition to giving independence to the elderly and peace of mind to families, it will also relieve pressure on care providers.
Tim Wagner, co-founder explained: “Particularly in view of the glaring shortage of skilled nursing staff and the growing shortage of doctors, we need to think about ways to relieve the burden on nursing staff while at the same time ensuring excellent medical care. And we have to think long-term as we know that demographic shift is a global development. We want to ensure that elderly care in 20 years is better than today.”
Patronus’ innovation provides a simple tool that makes a genuine impact on the lives of so many. This new funding will help scale up the product to help even more people and advance the product’s capabilities. These impact-driven ventures are critical in today’s climate and so it’ll be interesting to watch what is next for the team.
Jeremy Uzan, Partner at Singular: “It’s no secret that the population is aging, and yet senior citizens are still digitally underserved. Combined with technologies that have recently matured, this creates a unique opportunity to offer dedicated connected devices to this age group. With their smartwatch, Patronus has seamlessly integrated a digital touchpoint into the daily lives of seniors, which has unlocked a proprietary way to provide them, and the people around them, with a whole new range of services. The team’s execution over the past year has led to impressive growth rates as well as engagement levels never seen before in this demographic, and we’re truly convinced that Patronus has the potential to become the global leader of the silver economy.”
Stefan Walter, Managing Partner at Cavalry Ventures: “Being able to raise a Series A of this quality in today’s market demonstrates three things: A very appealing product has landed in a more than receptive market, the timing for the solution is ideal and finally, it is a testament to the excellence of the team. Tim and Ben have demonstrated their ability to execute on their vision time and again. But more importantly, they have managed to attract exceptional talent and a stellar team in a very short period of time – an indispensable skill that will enable Patronus to take the leading role in this new category of tech for the elderly.”