A recent report from Atomico titled State of European Tech reveals the gender gap in startup funding has been on the rise. Female founders raised the lowest proportion of total capital since at least 2017. And hence, when the year wraps up with the funding news of a woman-led startup which also has over 80% women in its workforce, we know all is well that ends well!
A care tech woman-led startup in Germany is taking on the challenges posed by the disparities in the health care system in the country. And in doing so, the Berlin-based Kenbi, which is developing software to help nurses and also fill gaps in the healthcare system, has raised €23.5 million to roll out its tech-enabled care solution nationally.
The Series A funding is led by healthcare investor, Endeavour Vision with participation from existing investors Redalpine, Heartcore, Headline, Partech and Amino Collective participate and the newly joined Mutschler Ventures and lender Silicon Valley Bank.
It had earlier raised €7M in the Seed round of funding in January this year. Until now, the tech-driven platform has raised over €30 million and grown from 12 to over 300 employees (over 80% of which are female) since launching in late 2019.
Addressing nurse scarcity
Owing to the stressful conditions and paper-heavy bureaucracy linked with the profession, the number of skilled nursing professionals has been on the decline. As a result, over half of Germany’s 625.000 caregivers quit their job in the past 25 years. The remainder spend 40% of their time tied up by paperwork and inefficient processes.
Founded in November 2019 right before the pandemic, Kenbi with a network of over 300 caregivers, is attempting to change the game. The startup’s decentralised network of caregivers is empowering agile teams through a modular app stack and efficient access to services and products.
The platform has experienced a growing inflow of applicants across 23 care-hubs in three German states. More than 300 professionals in the platform provide over 15,000 care visits every month.
Modular apps streamline caregiving
Kenbi’s proprietary technology has been a key enabler to change the scenario. A range of modular apps across the entire value chain of caregiving is streamlining back-office operations such as recruitment, onboarding, care planning, documentation, communication, training, and billing.
“Every caregiver receives a mobile phone with the Kenbi app. Our digitalisation efforts improve hiring speed from six months to days, enable flexible scheduling, provide instant communication, and shorten care tour durations by 20%,” Co-Founder Clemens Raemy, previously founder of the Latin-American cab hailing app SaferTaxi said.
Rethinking home care
Inspired by her own personal experience growing up with a relative in constant need of home care, Co-Founder Katrin Alberding sought to provide a more human-centric approach:
“Patients value how our teams are highly local, accessible, and how they provide a one-stop-shop for their care needs. Healthcare professio- nals join Kenbi because we champion a real alternative to the old ways that have failed them by providing a tech-driven, autonomous work approach where small teams serve tightly-knit neighborhoods while being connected to a bigger infrastructure network,” she explains. “Our teams benefit from a tech-enabled service program that relieves them from administrative burdens and empowers our “Kenbis” to provide the best possible care. Flexibility is at the core of everything we do.”
Kenbi is approved by all healthcare insurances in all German states in which it operates. This means patients have their acute and long-term care costs covered regardless of the service of choice. All caregivers are employed by Kenbi, ensuring consistent quality standards and a collaborative development of tech solutions directly with the end user.
Funding to expand tech horizon
The new funds will be used to continue rolling out Kenbi across Germany, as well as broadening the tech stack. “So far our proprietary technologies have focused on internal efficiencies; recruiting, onboarding, scheduling, staffing, documentation, online training, and billing,” explained co-founder and CTO Bruno Pires. “Now we will zoom in on customer-facing innovations that go beyond the elderly target market, building a healthcare-at-home category for a broader population.”
Disrupting €50-billion worth industry
Alexander Schmitz, Partner at Endeavour Vision, who joins the company’s board as part of the financing, added, “The rapid development of health app innovations combined with regulatory changes embracing digital solutions (DiGA) are opening up new opportunities for homecare in Germany that will fuel continued growth in a care market that already exceeds €50 billion annually.”
“The startup is a successful example of how digitisation combined with empathy can reverse some of society’s most negative trends. The deep respect shown by Katrin, Clemens, Bruno and the whole team for the needs of caretakers and patients alike results in a more fulfilling environment for everyone involved,” Christian Miele, partner at Headline and an early board member said.