The Helper Bees: A Buzzing Aging-in-Place Platform
Transforming the home care experience by helping people stay at home longer
Aging in place offers individuals a more positive, comfortable, and affordable experience than nursing homes or assisted living facilities. In addition to being more cost-effective, aging in place also helps people maintain freedom and independence. It can also slow the advancement of memory loss, as patients remain connected to a similar setting and social network. Unfortunately, even with these benefits, there is a significant lack of systems and tools to enable individuals to age in place.
The Helper Bees (THB) has built the largest aging-in-place platform for provider and insurer connections. The company’s platform collects data-driven insights to provide comprehensive, in-home care management programs — while reducing claim costs and simplifying the complexity of filing claims, ultimately improving operational efficiencies.
Congress Avenue Ventures (for the UTexas community) sponsored Alumni Ventures’ investment in The Helper Bees’ $12.8 million Series B alongside sibling fund Towerview Ventures (for the Duke community). Trust Ventures led the round.
A Multi-Sided Business Model
THB has built a network of non-traditional service providers intended to reduce the probability that long-term care insurance or medicare advantage customers will get injured and end up in a hospital or assisted living facility. These providers include meal delivery companies, transportation, in-home caregivers, and more. The company also offers care management to help guide customers to the best services to fit their needs and handles claims for supplemental benefits.
THB’s multi-sided business model generates revenue from administrative fees and a share of the cost from every service used through the platform. Each encounter is billed to the insurance plan with service cost and THB’s margin. Revenue sources are split between matching/caregiver, assessments, digital invoicing services, and care concierge services.
What We Liked About The Helper Bees
Strong Competitive Moats: THB’s competitive edge includes its proprietary technology and all-in-one service network. Additionally, THB’s regulatory solution allows the company to easily navigate technically complex regulations such as differing state requirements.
Significant Demographic Trends: More than 54 million adults ages 65 and older live in the U.S. today — accounting for about 16.5% of the nation’s population. By 2050, the total number of adults ages 65 and older is projected to rise to an estimated 85.7 million — roughly 20% of the overall U.S. population. This creates a strong tailwind for THB as long-term care providers look for solutions to cope with rising costs.
Domain Expert CEO: Co-Founder and CEO Char Hu has deep domain knowledge in the long-term healthcare industry. He previously founded Georgetown Living, a collection of two assisted living residences with home health companions and services. He’s a board member of AustinUp, Texas Alzheimers, Family Eldercare, and the Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders. He also holds a PhD in molecular biophysics, computational biology, and theoretical chemistry from Baylor College of Medicine.
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