“Grandkids on Demand” Startup Raises $10 Million

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Papa, a startup that helps seniors through the aging process by connecting with younger persons, announced it has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

The company’s funding comes from Canaan, which led the round. Additional investment was provided by Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company formed by Melinda Gates, Initialized Capital, Sound Ventures and Y Combinator. It will use the funding to expand its services to a broader population of older adults, via partnerships with insurance plans and employee benefit providers.

Papa, founded in 2016, connects college and nursing students, or “Papa Pals,” with older adults needing help with  transportation, housekeeping, technology training and other services. The “Grandkids on Demand” startup helps to curb social isolation and loneliness among seniors by providing companionship to seniors who lack access to social networks.

Papa provides a member app for both seniors and their caregivers to request visits, and another app for Papa Pals to track and manage visits. Also, the company’s logistics platform includes an administrative tool for managing its members, adding new Papa Pals, and to managing billing.

Papa also announced that it has forged partnerships with large health plans including Aetna, Humana, Priority Heath and Alignment Healthcare to offer services to its members. Its service footprint is now expected to grow to 25 states next year.

As part of the funding deal, Byron Ling, principal at Canaan, will join Papa’s board.

 

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