A ‘FEEL-GOOD tech company’ promising to disrupt the elderly care industry has launched in London.
Originally founded in Finland, Gubbe – meaning ‘buddy’ or ‘friend’ – wants to bring a revolutionary solution to the public healthcare crisis by pairing the elderly with suitable local young people on a subscription basis.
The subscribers are often relatives of the elderly – children or grandchildren – who buy the home visit service as a gift.
The idea came about when co-founder Sandra Lounamaa began looking for a cure to her grandmother’s loneliness.
Sandra said: “I am incredibly close with my grandmother yet I didn’t have enough time to commit to visiting and helping her around the home. I was in a position where I wanted to do more but I simply couldn’t.
“Gubbe offers a new kind of elderly care service that can keep seniors active, give them help with everyday tasks and teach technology skills.
“Many of the elderly people we serve have conditions such as dementia or struggle to move independently. Gubbe helpers can take them to the toilet, cook and feed them, change their bed sheets, and do other house chores.
“We create meaningful jobs for young people and bring a sense of security to the whole family.”
In Finland there are thousands of service users and the same can be said for Sweden, where the company launched last year.
The launch comes as the UK lurches into a winter characterised by rising energy bills and a cost of living crisis.
Sandra says software built by the firm which gives relatives real-time updates has the ability to ‘revolutionise’ elderly care and bring added reassurance for families.
She said: “Bringing in new technology and changing the way users interact with the service is a game-changer.
“We are doing the same thing that Deliveroo did to the food industry: Revolutionising how the care is delivered, what the care looks like and responding to diverse customer needs that no one is currently addressing.
“The UK elderly care market is ripe for disruption. There simply isn’t anyone in the market who offers reliable and customised homecare like this.”
Gubbe has previously been named in Wired’s ‘The Hottest Startups in Europe’. Backed by numerous VC investors, it has collected more than £5million in funding.
As well as operating in the consumer market it also offers the service as a company benefit plan or a corporate responsibility project.
Sandra added: “To understand the size of these markets, global firms spend roughly £20 billion on corporate social responsibility per year and roughly the same amount goes to employee benefits. Our goal as a company is to generate £50million by 2024.”
Gubbe is currently operating in the Greater London area. Within a few months it plans to open up in all major UK cities.