Many countries are facing a demographic ‘time bomb’, or so we’re told, as people are living longer than ever before. As a result, ‘seniors’ make up a significant (and growing) proportion of the market, and it’s no wonder that startups are beginning to take notice with products and services designed specifically for them.
Enter: Tapestry (not to be confused with a number of companies/products of the same name), whose Android app, web service, and Tapestry tablet, aims to make it easier for seniors stay to connected to family members online. Today, the company has announced that it’s raised a $600k seed round led by the Sydney Angels group of investors.
The list of investors includes David Greatorex (founding investor ResMed, SecureNet), Su-Ming Wong (CHAMP Private Equity), Brand Hoff (Tower Software, Director NICTA). Meanwhile, Neil Bourne (Nextec Strategic Capital) has joined Tapestry’s board.
Tapestry says it will use the new funds to validate its product in its local market of Australia, before expanding internationally.
Tapestry’s service is about simplifying the sometimes complex and disparate social web to make it infinitely more accessible to less tech-savvy seniors, with the noble aim of bringing families closer together. Or, in the company’s own words, it set out to “bridge the technology generation gap and get families across multiple generations connected again”.
Its solution is to have two different account types for its service — one for “sharing”, aimed at the more tech-savvy family members, and another, dubbed “simplicity”, for the senior(s) in the family who wish to mostly consume content and require the tailored Tapestry experience and Android app/tablet. Yes, that’s right, the company is offering to sell users some actual hardware (a rebadged Toshiba tablet running Android), though you can also bring your own device.
Users with sharing accounts can currently share in one of three ways: By registering their Facebook account with Tapestry so that photos they share on Facebook will be shared with everyone in their Tapestry family (privacy settings, permitting); by emailing photos to a simplicity account directly (Tapestry then extracts the photo attachments and adds them to the Simplicity account holder’s photo album on Tapestry); or by uploading photos to Tapestry from the Tapestry web site itself.
Interestingly, the “sharing” accounts are free, while the “simplicity” accounts start from $5 per month, so it’s here where Tapestry aims to make its money.