As our lives get busier, who will take care of the elderly members of our family? If you’re a fan of the on-demand economy, then Envoy might be just the thing. It’s a family concierge service for seniors and family caregivers, and today it has launched in San Antonio, now making it available in 17 markets across 7 U.S. states.
To support this massive expansion and its operations, Envoy has also raised a $3 million seed round led by SoftTech VC.
Available as a subscription service, Envoy specializes in providing assistance to seniors who need “lightweight help and support.” It’s not meant to replace conventional in-home care, but rather to offer assistance with groceries, personal shopping, running errands, picking up prescriptions, and doing in-home tasks like washing dishes or changing a lightbulb. The idea is to allow seniors to be independent, but give them some support if they need it.
Envoy has more than 500 Family Concierge assistants who are all connected through their mobile device. The company said that many of them are stay-at-home mothers who are looking for flexible income. And recognizing the importance of safety, Envoy has an acceptance rate of 5 percent of applicants. Many are filtered out through the company’s screening process, background checks, and on-boarding process. It also has a $1 million liability insurance policy in place.
Started by Justin Lin, Envoy solved a problem he had living across the country from his father after losing his mother to cancer. “My father and brother still live on the East Coast, where I grew up,” he said in a release. “My brother was born with a learning disability, so he can’t drive, and with my dad getting up there in age I knew I’d need to get help for them soon. There was no good place for us to turn.”
Besides San Antonio, the company operates in California (San Francisco, Oakland/East Bay, San Jose, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire, Ventura County, and San Diego), Oregon (Portland), Washington (Seattle), Nevada (Las Vegas), Colorado (Denver), and Arizona (Phoenix).
After coming out of beta a year ago, Envoy has rapidly been tapping new markets, and the new $3 million seed round is expected to help it set up shop in more suburban neighborhoods where seniors live. In addition to commitments from SoftTech VC, the company has received investments from Lowercase Capital, ENIAC Ventures, Structure Capital, Technicolor Ventures, Vayner/RSE, and multiple angel investors.
Envoy is anything but an original idea as it has many competitors with similar services, including Santa Monica-based HomeHero, which has raised $23 million in funding; Honor, which has $20 million in its coffers; and Care.com, which also focuses on child care.
The company didn’t disclose specific user numbers, but did say that “thousands” of seniors and families have already signed up to use Envoy’s services. It charges based on how many visits per week you’d like: $119 per month for biweekly visits and $199 per month for weekly. Furthermore, regardless of the plan, Envoy charges a 10 percent surcharge for all groceries and other items purchased for the user.