As our populations age, this startup is turning live-in care into a gig-economy platform

As developed-world populations increasingly get older, healthcare is being rapidly digitized and “platformized” in order to meet the huge scale of change heading our way. I recently covered how Cera in the U.K. just raised $320 million to shift monitoring of patients into the home rather than over-flowing hospitals.

Now another startup aims to create an almost “gig-economy style” platform for people providing live-in care to the elderly, this time in Europe.

Marta, the European digital platform for live-in care, says when people try to arrange this kind of care for their elderly relatives, there are up to six intermediaries involved, and four out of five placements fail. Marta’s solution is an AI-driven matching platform where carers can be found for live-in positions. I guess you might call it UpWork for live-in care?

It’s now raised a €6.6 million seed round led by Capnamic, alongside co-lead Almaz Capital. Ithaca, GMPVC, SumUp Impact Fund, Verve Ventures and angels also participated. Existing investors such as Christian Vollmann, Johannes Schaback, Laura Esnola, Dr. Steffen Zoller and Julian Stiefel also participated.

The startup plans to now scale up in its European markets of Germany, Poland, Romania and Lithuania.

The market it’s addressing is an €18 billion market in the DACH region alone.

Given that Germany alone has more than 4 million people seeking at-home care and there are only 280,000 caregivers able to do this, the market is sizable.

Marta’s says its algorithm-based marketplace enables matchmaking between care seekers and caregivers, increasing transparency and a person-to-person experience.

“There are hundreds of examples of how elderly care can go wrong and it’s almost impossible for humans to accurately predict placement success because it’s just so many data points. We have seen how difficult it was to organize care with our grandparents. Aging is a normal process and should not pose a major problem. We believe that we can leverage technology significantly to help elderly people and their families as well as the caregivers,” said Jan Hoffmann, co-founder of marta in a statement.

Marta’s founders, Philipp Buhr and Hoffmann started marta in 2020 after having problems finding carers for relatives.

“Marta has created a transparent marketplace where it connects caregivers directly with families seeking care. At this point a truly unique approach based on digitization. We have been following marta for the past months and are impressed by the technology and traction the team has delivered. Most importantly, we are excited about the teams’ enthusiasm for solving a paramount societal problem,” added Jörg Binnenbrücker, founding partner at Capnamic.

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