Birdie, a U.K.-based caretech software-as-a-service maker, has closed a $30 million Series B funding round led by investment firm Sofina, with Omers Ventures and Index Ventures also participating — the latter reupping its backing after leading Birdie’s Series A last year.
Max Parmentier, co-founder and CEO of Birdie, said the latest tranche of funding will go on scaling into continental Europe where it’s started to sign partnerships with local care providers, as well as wider business growth. The new funding brings its total raised since being founded back in 2017 to $52 million.
In Birdie’s home market of the U.K., where it’s been operating for around five years, it’s now working with some 700 care businesses whose staff are delivering “millions” of visits per month to the circa 35,000 care recipients (and 8,000 family members) being supported by its customers — with growth of 3x since the startup last raised.
The SaaS platform provides care workers a suite of digital tools to support their work by streamlining admin and patient management while enabling real-time visibility into care events — helping keep family members informed of important details around their loved one’s care.
Birdie’s wider goal for the business is to use the data its platform is ingesting and structuring to power more personalized — and even preventative — healthcare for the social care sector, which remains drastically under-resourced versus the scale of demand for care services.
The sector also suffers from a chronic shortage of staff, which is likely driving investor interest in funding platforms like Birdie that promise to drive efficiencies for care customers.
“We want to become a technology partner for home healthcare across continental Europe, where we know the care industry is under increasing pressure,” Parmentier tells TechCrunch. “We’ve already signed new partners in Spain and are in advanced conversations with partners in Ireland. In the near future, we are looking at expanding our footprint to France, Germany and the Nordics.”
“Our first priority is to grow our solution so it can support any care provider, delivering any type of care at home — from complex care to live-in care as we want any older adult to be properly supported,” he adds.
“We are also constantly learning and adapting to better serve our partners and will be looking closely at our existing platform to expand its breadth and capabilities. For example we will be launching a new version of our rostering tool to optimise fulfilment rate, meaning less commuter time and more face-to-face interactions for carers and their care recipients.”
Another focus for the funding will be continuing to build out partnerships, per Parmentier. “We will continue to develop our open ecosystem to partner with health and care providers. Our aim is to invest heavily in building a clinical engine and enhancing our data analytics capabilities to offer predictive insights.”
Asked how Birdie quantifies efficiency gains for its target care provider customers, he points to a recent study which found that 73% of users save on average between 7-15 hours a week on day-to-day operations — as well as claiming the the platform offers 9x more visibility over day-to-day tasks than other care management software.
“It’s critical as fewer hours doing admin work mean more hours to care for the care recipients,” he argues.
To quantify the quality of care being delivered by users of its platform, the startup has created what it brands as the ‘Birdie Quality Score’ metric — which factors in criteria like alert responsiveness, call monitoring and medication monitoring — and then feeds the data back to care agencies to support them in monitoring and improving the care service they’re providing.
Parmentier says this data feedback loop is resulting in improvements in its care partners’ service quality.
“The aim here is to help them continually improve the quality of their care. As a result, within the first six months as a Birdie user, on average we see a 21% improvement in our partners’ quality score, with the biggest improvements within a year; 81% of all concerns are resolved in under 72 hours, and 80% of medication concerns are resolved within a 72 hour period — up from 58% within the first month. This is a huge improvement and a testament to the ongoing work of the team.”
Discussing progress on Birdie’s longer term goal of using the care data-points that are being fed into its platform to power a personalized and predictive value-based healthcare delivery model, Parmentier says it’s created its own ontology for tasks and assessments — “based on a well-known comprehensive geriatric assessment framework”.
“The best part is, we’re already seeing the benefits of this data-driven approach and can validate scientific knowledge through our own data. We’re using AI models such as NLP [natural language processing] to further enhance our data analytics capabilities and anticipate health and wellbeing trends for a care recipient,” he goes on.
“Looking ahead, we want to continue to improve our health outcomes, while also scaling the platform. We are already able to recommend specific well-being assessments based on care recipient data but we want to grow this focus and look at particular condition-specific interventions, such as mobility and mental health.”
“From the beginning, our thesis has been that a data-driven solution to home care can help us deliver personalised care to an aging population. We’ve built Birdie around this concept, and we’re now capable of collecting millions of data points every day that were previously captured on paper, making us the social care platform with the most structured data,” he adds.
On the competitive front, Parmentier says there are numerous legacy SaaS providers in the care sector — some focused on care assessment, others providing tools in people and operations management. But he argues Birdie’s modern, platform approach is helping it stand out in a crowd.
“Our all-in-one platform uniquely encompasses digital solutions across the entire care business, and we differentiate ourselves by delivering user-centric products accompanied by a high-touch service approach,” he suggests. “Additionally, by working closely with our partners to provide integrated analytics and insights that highlight performance gaps, we are not only streamlining and digitising many existing processes but we are ultimately improving the quality of care they are providing.”
Commenting on Birdie’s Series B in a statement, Harold Boël, CEO of Sofina, said: “The home healthcare tech sector seems ripe for an innovative leader like Birdie to catalyse the necessary social change. Aligned with our strategy to back growing and sustainable businesses, we’re excited to join them on their mission to enrich the lives of millions of older adults through preventive and personalised care at home.”
“What really sets Birdie apart is the combination of an intuitive product experience coupled with a true partnership approach to digital transformation,” added Stéphane Kurgan, venture partner at Index in another supporting statement. “We continue to be impressed by the team’s passion, calibre and commitment to social change and are proud to accompany them on their quest to reinvent care for the better.”