Homage, a Singapore-based mostly startup that connects caregivers with aged individuals in search of help, has closed a $1.2 million seed spherical. The cash comes from 500 Startups’ Southeast Asia fund, Golden Gate Ventures, and SeedPlus, a fund affiliated with Jungle Ventures.
Launched in Might 2016, Homage was based by Gillian Tee, a Singaporean who has hung out working within the U.S. the place, amongst different issues, she began Rocketrip, a startup backed by Y Combinator that has raised nearly $20 million. Tee stated she determined to return house to Southeast Asia after 15 years abroad as a result of she needed to be nearer to household and noticed the potential for startups.
“Extra info [about the tech scene] was flowing into the U.S.. I was very curious and spent a yr deciding whether or not I would come again,” she advised TechCrunch in an interview. “It truly is the best time as a result of there’s virtually that tipping level about what it means to start out tech corporations. It’s a smaller ecosystem for positive, however the potential is gigantic.”
Tee initially appeared into alternatives in healthcare tech and job portals however, after discovering each verticals pretty saturated when it comes to choices, she determined to mix the 2 and create Homage, which makes use of the asset mild platform mannequin to match provide with demand for look after seniors. Teaming up with healthcare business exec Lily Phang and former banker Tong Duong, the service went stay in Singapore final yr.
The primarily aim, Tee stated, is to widen the pool of healthcare staff to match growing demand. Homage actively recruits and vets caregivers, who should maintain related qualifications to even be thought-about for the platform. Customers can guide totally different sorts of providers, whether or not it’s on-demand for an hour, or common scheduled periods by way of the Homage service. Homage itself assigns the proper of caregiver based mostly on the demand of seniors themselves, or their households.
Whereas the idea of the gig financial system is seen as borderline exploitive to many as a result of slim margins and low pay, Homage goals to enhance the circumstances that many caregivers face when working with employment businesses to get jobs.
“Many healthcare staff are employed on fastened and inflexible schedules to start with, then they receives a commission terribly,” Tee defined. “In the identical approach that Uber empowers and widens the variety of drivers, we’re considering we will do comparable.’
Homage is initially sticking to Singapore, however the startup is maintaining a tally of alternatives to enterprise abroad to totally different elements of Southeast Asia. That makes loads of sense as a result of Singapore, whereas Westernized in some ways, has a restricted pool of simply over 5 million residents, whereas Southeast Asia as an entire homes greater than 600 million shoppers.
“We’re not in a rush,” Tee stated. “We need to be sure that the necessity is actually met in Singapore. We’re considering to broaden to at least one nation within the subsequent two years.”
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