Let’s face it: we are an aging population, and with the huge Baby Boomer generation getting older and needing help, it’s good to know that help is always on the way in LA, thanks to HomeHero.
HomeHero is the most-affordable way to find quality in-home care for seniors – and the largest and fastest-growing senior care marketplace in the country.
It’s also the highest-rated health care startup in the country, and The Webby Foundation even named it the #1 Employment Website of 2014.
But, as with any great company, it all started with a problem. For years, founders Kyle Hill and Mike Townsend watched the struggles their parents went through trying to find, hire and manage reliable in-home care for their grandparents. Hill’s father, a theatre professor at The Ohio State University, even had to take an extended leave of absence so he could fly to Seattle (where his mother lived) and interview caregivers. He was receiving timesheets in the mail, sending checks across the country, and had zero accountability when his caregivers were in the home or what they were doing while there.
Not efficient at all.
The two founders quickly realized that the country’s home care system was hopelessly antiquated, and what was needed was a tech solution to upgrade the system to help millions of families afford quality home care, while disrupting the fastest-growing industry in America.
And there are Heroes to take care of everything from cleaning and cooking, to people with Parkinsons or prosthetics – and more.
HomeHero analyst Quinntin S. Ruiz gives us the details.
Tell us about the service.
HomeHero is an online platform built to help families find a caregiver for their loved ones at an affordable rate. Unlike other healthcare companies, Homehero screens each and every one of our heroes and uses a complex matching algorithm to assure each careseeker is paired with the best possible caregiver.
How is it different?
HomeHero is not a brick and mortar company and it is not an Uber: it is a matching service that connects every care seeker with the most qualified hero. Uber has a homogeneous supply, while HomeHero has unique hero for each and every care seeker. Unlike other listing services that leave it to the families to find the best hero, HomeHero does that work for you. In addition, HomeHero automates the payments and scheduling and gives real time mobile updates to the family about the care given to their loved ones.
One of our biggest differentiators are the HD video interviews and photos we make for each of our heroes. We have over 1000 videos spotlighting each of our heroes answering general questions that help our clients to get an idea of each hero’s personality. No other competitor in our field has that advantage.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Our biggest clients are mid-aged adults (40-60 years old) who are the sons or daughters of their parent who needs home care. Our current markets span San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The totality of the market we are attacking is quite large; the home care industry alone is a $30B market.
What is the business model?
The business model consists of connecting our most qualified and screened heroes with our care seekers. Just to be clear, we DO NOT hire anyone or manage any schedules; we simply connect the two groups of people and charge a small fee for the connect. We also provide 24 hour customer support and give mobile updates to the families about their quality of care. Unlike other health care companies that have margins upwards of 40% and charge $35-$40 for home healthcare, we only take a 10% margin in order to keep our rates low, at around $18/hr. We do this so that we can scale and grow our business as quickly as possible, while also reaching out to as many people as possible.
What insights have you picked up running a business focused on the intersection of tech and baby boomers?
Some of the main insights I’ve found are that our ability to automate many of our processes was one of the most successful tools to keep prices low and stay competitive. The Baby Boomer population will double by 2020, and will continue to grow rapidly in the next 20-30 years. We consider ourselves a people business above all else, and automating processes, such as matching, allows us to focus on providing the best quality care to our clients, while keeping our rates low. In addition, I’ve found that for young investors, going for the “unsexy” industries is the best way to go, because those are the industries that have the most growth potential and are focused on solving important problems. I say that, beyond all else, it is important to find a big problem in the world and set out to fix it. That way, you can get up every morning knowing that you are a part of something bigger than yourself, that your efforts will help a lot of people and give you a sense of purpose.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Within the next six months, we plan on scaling our businesses exponentially in LA, SD, and SF.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
I would choose to meet Elon Musk. I love the rate at which he learns and the problems he sets out to solve.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
Being “Made in LA” means that we succeeded in one of the most competitive and talent-filled cities in the country. Our philosophy is that if we can thrive and scale in one of the most regulated environments in the country, we can thrive and scale in anywhere. I truly love being a part of L.A., where everyone is dedicated to his or her craft and works hard to move towards a good cause.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
To promote early-stage entrepreneurship, I believe it starts with our college students and teaching them to fail early. In college, it is too often that they disparage failure, when it is a necessary part of the process. If entrepreneurship is encouraged within our college campuses and failure is welcomed, then we will have many more bright entrepreneurs that are prepared to enter the crazy world of entrepreneurship in Los Angeles.
What’s your favorite after work activity in Los Angeles?
My favorite after work activities include playing soccer, biking, running triathlons, and live music.