Berlin, May 25, 2022 – Patronus, a Berlin-based healthcare startup, has raised USD 7 million to build digital tools for the elderly and their carers. The oversubscribed seed funding round was led by Berlin-based early-stage investor Cavalry Ventures with participation from UVC Partners and DN Capital as well as renowned business angels such as Hanno Heintzenberg and Lukas Pieczonka (Co-Founders at McMakler and MAYD), Emanuel Pallua (Founder at Foodora), Johannes Roggendorf (Co-Founder at Medwing) and Christopher Muhr (COO at AUTO1, Founder at Patient21).
"How we care for the elderly has changed practically zero in the last 50 years. We want to provide seniors with the best possible care and make the daily lives of caregivers miles easier and free from worry by adding a tech component to human interaction," says Ben Staudt, co-founder of Patronus.
Solving the right problems to maximise adoption
Patronus is applying a research-driven approach to identify the most pressing pain points of the different stakeholders. The initial Patronus product is addressing a major fear amongst elderly people: ending up in an emergency situation and not being able to call for help. Patronus solves this by offering software that turns smartwatches into digital watches for the elderly. The watch software offers 24/7 access to the emergency call centre which has access to the user’s health record and caregiver contacts. It can be used both at home and on the move through a wide-ranging collaboration with Deutsche Telekom. Patronus cooperates with a large number of care providers including the Malteser Aid Service to provide their users with local assistance. Since launch, Patronus has acquired thousands of users who use the product on a daily basis.
“We’re seeing incredibly high adoption and satisfaction scores from our current users. Achieving this level of user adoption in the elderly space makes us very proud and confident about our roadmap. We’re the ones building a digital product that people aged 65+ truly love and use every day,” says Ben Staudt.
Becoming the collaboration software for elderly well-being
Soon after launching, Patronus received numerous requests from the relatives of the users. They were stunned that their parents were continuously wearing the watch and asked if they could use it to interact with them. It became clear that relatives have a pressing need to be better informed about their elderly family members at all times. Based on this feedback, Patronus is building a mobile app for all carers and relatives of elderly users. Through the app, the carers can access relevant information from the Patronus watch such as emergencies, geofencing alerts and activity confirmations. They can also communicate with elderly users directly through the watch. The goal of the app is to create peace of mind for the carers who can’t be with the elderly 24/7. It will also facilitate daily tasks such as configuring medication reminders and coordinating chores with other carers.
The strong focus on user adoption enables Patronus to scale the user base and maintain high daily engagement. In the future, this will serve as a basis to expand the set of products to other stakeholders. The need for better digital connectivity goes beyond the elderly users and their family members. It also includes professional caregivers, stationary nursing homes, physiotherapists and physicians. Patronus’ vision is to build a collaborative software where all parties operate and interact with each other.
“Just like modern ERP software helps companies operate across functions and with a single source of truth, it’s crucial to build something similar for all the stakeholders of an elderly person. Step by step we will prioritise and address the different pain points of all parties to integrate them into our software. We’re establishing Patronus as the gold standard for user adoption, and have access to a unique set of well-being data. Our goal is to become the collaboration software for the elderly and everyone who cares for them,” says Tim Wagner, co-founder of Patronus.
Tech at the heart of societal change
Today's care for older people is based, in terms of products and infrastructure, on models developed in the early 1970s. However, today's seniors are much more technically savvy, and their needs have changed significantly. In addition, the healthcare system is confronted with new challenges due to the demographic shift. In Germany, people aged 65+ are the fastest-growing group and their share of the total population will increase to 30% in the next 10 years. In the US, the same age group will grow by more than 20 million people by 2030.
This poses significant challenges for the healthcare systems of these countries. The healthcare costs per capita for people aged 65+ are usually 4-5 times higher than for younger people. “This doesn’t even include the indirect costs of the strain on family members who care for their elderly relatives. There’s an urgent need for digital tools to make elderly care more efficient. It’s the only way to make our healthcare systems future-proof, and to ensure that our parents can live independently in the future,” says Tim Wagner.
Patronus has grown to more than EUR 1 million in ARR only 11 months after launching its initial product. In the past six months, Patronus has expanded its team across all levels. The current focus lies on extending the product scope, continuing to scale, and expanding the B2B distribution network.
“We fundamentally believe in the potential of the elderly care space. The team at Patronus has proven that they can build engaging products for a notoriously challenging target group. They have the great opportunity to build a category leader that addresses one of the most significant challenges of the decades to come,” says Stefan Walter, Partner at Cavalry Ventures.
“We are deeply impressed by the quality of talent and execution power of Patronus. The team combines exceptional understanding of the specific needs of elderly users with building market-leading digital products”, says Johannes von Borries, Managing Partner at UVC Partners.
Patronus is a Berlin-based healthcare startup developing digital tools to improve elderly care and well-being. The company currently offers a digital watch for the elderly as well as a mobile app for carers and family members. It was founded in 2021 by Ben Staudt and Tim Wagner, and is backed by renowned investors like Cavalry Ventures, UVC Partners and DN Capital.
Fore more information: https://www.patronus-group.com and https://www.patronus-uhr.de
About Cavalry Ventures
Founded in 2015, Cavalry Ventures is a founder-centric early-stage venture capital firm in Berlin, Germany. Cavalry is sector-agnostic and invests in software businesses in pre-seed and seed stages across Europe. Cavalry has €120m in assets under management across multiple funds.
The team is driven by appreciation towards entrepreneurs and their will to turn extraordinary ideas into action. Along the way, Cavalry and its 200+ selected investors provide hands-on guidance in company building, tech, product, marketing and sales, finance, talent acquisition and other areas vital to a company's growth.
Cavalry has backed over 40 companies, including Forto, McMakler, REKKI, BRYTER, and PlanRadar.
For more information: https://cavalry.vc/
About UVC Partners
UVC Partners is a Munich- and Berlin-based early-stage venture capital firm that invests in European tech startups from pre-seed to series A. With more than €350m under management, the fund typically invests between €0.5m - 10m initially and up to €30m in total per company. With more than 100 industry partners in the network and a close cooperation with UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s leading innovation center, UVC Partners offers startups unique access to talent, industry contacts, and other financial partners.
For more information: https://www.uvcpartners.com
About DN Capital
DN Capital is a leading European early stage venture capital firm with operations in London, Berlin and Silicon Valley. The firm focuses on Seed, Series A and select Series B investments in software, fintech, marketplace and consumer internet. DN Capital’s mission is to support entrepreneurs in creating global category leaders. DN was an early backer in companies such as Shazam, Endeca, Auto1, GoStudent, Job and Talent, Mister Spex, Hometogo, OLX, Remitly and Quandoo.
For more information: https://www.dncapital.com