Caregivers to elderly and disabled loved ones often find themselves in that role for the first time and with little experience. Carewell is hoping to change that.
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The Charlotte, North Carolina-based startup closed on more than $5 million in seed funding to provide advocacy and expand its e-commerce site for home health products.
Investors for the round included e.ventures, NextView Ventures and Primetime Partners, as well as a group of entrepreneurs and advisers including Chewy.com’s former VP of growth marketing Jason Klinghoffer, and Dia&Co founders Nadia Boujarwah and Lydia Gilbert.
CEO Bianca Padilla and her husband, Jonathan Magolnick, started the company five years ago when they became among the 53 million providing unpaid care and were unable to find the guidance and selection they needed in one place.
“We wanted to have a service where we provide support and education to families like us that are caring for their loved ones,” Padilla said in an interview.
Carewell will use the new funding to provide more education and awareness about the caregiver role and focus on expanding its product offerings. After closing the round earlier this year, the company added to its leadership team in key roles including marketing, communications, merchandising and engineering.
Its online shopping platform features vetted product recommendations and guidance on product offerings. Carewell’s site offers products on both a one-time basis and through a subscription service to caregivers who need certain products regularly.
“There are unique challenges that caregivers face, so we want them to have a full suite of products for their needs,” Padilla said. “You can find lots of information for caring for pets or your own children, but we lack so many resources that are actionable for caring for seniors or those who are disabled. We want to be advocates for those caregivers.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic shifted most to in-home care, within the first month of the pandemic, Carewell’s revenue doubled and nearly 40,000 unique customers have made purchases since February, Padilla said.
Next up, the company will be looking at new categories of product offerings.
“You have to bring in a good selection because so many caregivers and their loved ones have unique needs,” Padilla said. “We are also making sure we document everything and provide it as an online resource.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman