The on-demand senior care and companionship startup Papa announced today $60 million of new funding through a Series C raise led by Tiger Global Management.
Coming in just more than six months after its $18 million Series B round, Papa now boasts $91 million in lifetime funding.
WHAT IT DOES
Papa got its start in 2017 by matching young adults, called Papa Pals, with seniors to provide assistance and companionship. Papa Pals can drive seniors to their doctor appointments, help them around the house, provide tech support or just spend time with them.
The startup primarily does its business with health plans and employers as a benefit, and with health systems to support nonemergency medical transportation and other provider programs.
The past year had substantial growth for Papa as it expanded its services to all 50 U.S. states and launched its health management platform, Papa Health. The platform offers virtual primary care, urgent care and chronic care management facilitated by board-certified healthcare providers called Papa Docs.
WHAT IT’S FOR
Papa plans to use the newly added capital to continue its growth.
"We have proven that pairing those in need with energetic, caring and geographically-local Papa Pals while leveraging data and technology to ensure an amazing experience improves the lives and health of our members," Andrew Parker, founder and CEO of Papa, said in a statement.
"This funding will allow us to continue to enhance our platform and suite of services to empower a completely new type of care to support members' full spectrum of unmet needs – both social and clinical."
Mon Ami, another digital platform that links young people with seniors living with loneliness or dementia, has been relatively quiet since its $3.4 million seed funding round in 2019.
These platforms and more have harnessed the power of technology to combat seniors’ feelings of loneliness and isolation that have been deepened by the ongoing pandemic. For example, SCAN Health Plan and Rally Health teamed up last year to launch an interactive digital platform for seniors to join online social groups, set and work towards wellness goals and get information about relevant health topics.
Voice assistants have often been pitched as a way to mitigate loneliness, and Amazon Alexa devices now have a suite of features that allow caregivers to check in on their aging family members from afar. Called the Care Hub, the features allow users to program a set of activity alerts that are delivered from an in-home Alexa-enabled device to the caregiver's Alexa app. These can include a heads-up when a senior first uses their Alexa device each day, or a warning if no activity is detected by a certain time.
As seniors continue to receive their COVID-19 vaccines, the virtual care provider Ro has set up a system to make house calls to distribute vaccines to older people and those with disabilities in New York.