Venture investing in elder tech
Senior citizens are not early adopters of new technology; many of our 65+ friends and family might not use much tech in the first place. That said, two-thirds of America’s 50 million seniors use the internet and more than 40% own a smartphone, according to a 2017 Pew study.
So where’s the disconnect? Why are modern software companies largely non-compatible with one of the nation’s largest demographics?
Starting with day-to-day care
The most notorious venture-funded eldertech startups were historically focused on building better healthcare and day-to-day living solutions. Honor built a managed marketplace for in-home care; YC startup GoGoGrandparent is Uber for people who don’t use apps; Umbrella* helps seniors get tasks done around the house.
The concept behind these companies is that daily basics are the root of other problems affecting seniors. If you have any issues with your home or mobility, for example, you end up exposing yourself to scams that frequently plague seniors, as well as health and safety risks. That’s not to mention the financial burden — most retirees have a modest budget or fixed income. Even if a service like TaskRabbit is somehow accessible to a senior, it’s not affordable in the long-term when lifespans and future costs are impossible to predict.