“Family-on-demand” platform Papa recently raised a $150m Series D round ($241m total funding) to extend the reach of its solution that provides companionship to older adults and other vulnerable populations.
This funding pushes Papa into “unicorn” status with a $1.4b valuation, highlighting the continued investor enthusiasm for products that address social determinants of health such as loneliness and isolation.
- Papa connects seniors with “Papa Pals” to provide companionship or assistance with daily tasks such as transportation and housework, with the backend of the platform handling everything from logistics to compensation.
- Standard visits last an average of three hours, enough time to not only drive someone to a grocery store or doctor’s office, but also enough to help them unload bags or keep them company in a waiting room.
- Papa Pals are matched to requests through the Papa app and serve as a friendly middleground between an on-demand service worker, such as an Uber driver, and a traditional caregiver, which usually focus on functions such as mobility and hygiene.
- Papa’s services are offered as a covered benefit through employers and health plans rather than as a direct-to-consumer offering. According to Papa, lonely people have been shown to use the hospital 60% more due to mental health and behavioral stressors.
Against a backdrop of pandemic-related isolation, Papa is addressing the care gap for seniors who don’t require a full-time caregiver but still need companionship or assistance, and its climbing valuation shows that VCs see big potential for this type of care.