YC-grad Papa raises $2.4M for its ‘grandkids-on-demand’ service – TechCrunch

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One of many newest additions to the on-demand financial system is Papa, a cell app that connects school college students with adults over 60 in want of help and companionship.

The latest graduate of Y Combinator’s accelerator program has raised a $2.four million spherical of funding to increase its service all through Florida and to 5 further states subsequent 12 months, starting with Pennsylvania. Initialized Capital led the spherical, with participation from Sound Ventures.

Headquartered in Miami, the startup was based final 12 months by chief govt officer Andrew Parker. The thought got here to him whereas he was juggling a full-time job at a startup and caring for his grandfather, who had early onset dementia.

“I’ve at all times been a connector of people,” Parker, the previous vp of well being techniques at telehealth firm MDLIVE, instructed TechCrunch. “I’ve at all times naturally felt snug with all walks of life and all age teams and have simply felt human connection is basically important.”

Seniors can request a “Papa Pal” utilizing the corporate’s cell app, desktop web site or by telephone. The friends can decide them up and take them out for an exercise or have them over to play a sport, full family chores, educate them the way to use social media and different expertise or just to speak. A senior is matched with a scholar, who should full a “rigorous” background examine, in as little as 30 seconds.

Parker says there are 600 college students working with Papa a median of 25 hours monthly.

“We’ve been lucky that that is one thing the scholars actually need to be a part of,” he mentioned. “They aren’t doing this for a pair further dollars. They’re doing this to assist the group.”

The service prices seniors $20 per hour, $12 of which is paid to the scholars and $eight is returned to Papa. It’s not a subscription-based service, however seniors will pay for a premium possibility that lets them select between three Papa Buddies as an alternative of being randomly paired with one of many a number of hundred choices. The scholars don’t present any private care, like bathing or grooming. And they don’t seem to be a pick-up and drop-off service, like Uber or Lyft.

“We imagine the Papa workforce has discovered a novel option to fight loneliness and melancholy in older adults,” mentioned Alexis Ohanian, co-founder and managing associate of Initialized Capital, in a press release. “The expertise that Papa Buddies carry their members make it appear to be they’re a part of a household.”

Along with increasing to new markets, Papa is within the technique of partnering with insurance coverage corporations with a objective of permitting seniors to pay for a few of its companies by way of their Medicare plans.

“Loneliness is a disaster. It’s a illness. It’s killing individuals prematurely,” Parker mentioned. “We’re offering a very large influence to those individuals’s lives.”

Supply hyperlink – https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/11/yc-grad-papa-raises-2-4m-for-its-grandkids-on-demand-service/

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