The path of a startup company - as with life and growing older - is a journey. Today marks a proud day in that journey here at Envoy HQ in San Francisco. We’re excited to announce that our Family Concierge service for seniors and their families is now live in 17 major markets across 7 states. We’re also delighted to share that we have partnered with a stellar set of venture investors, who share our belief in our vision and the potential of what we’re doing, to raise a $3M seed round of financing this past Spring.
We’ve now had the privilege of serving thousands of seniors and families who are early in their aging journey, offering them the lightweight, meaningful help they need to stay in their homes longer, maintain their independence and live life to the fullest. We’re taking care of essential needs like shopping, errands, and basic help around the home — but with the trust that can only come from a 1:1 relationship with a dedicated Envoy assistant, the technology to redefine parent care as collaborative experience with the family, and the peace of mind and transparency from getting photos, receipts, and notifications documenting every visit.
By providing families new options for getting lightweight help and support for grandma and grandpa, we’re able to help with a huge, unmet need faced by 40 million family caregivers across the US that causes untold amounts of stress and anxiety and a staggering cost of 126 million missed work days per year. And it’s something that I’ve experienced myself personally.
Ultimately what led me to start Envoy was the personal experience of losing my mother to cancer. My father and brother still live on the East Coast, where I grew up. My brother was born with a learning disability, so he can’t drive, and with my dad getting up there in age I knew I’d need to get help for them soon. There was no good place for us to turn.
And it was clear to me that I wasn’t alone. At the time, I was an experienced technology entrepreneur. Previously as Founder of Mamapedia, a venture-backed online community of over 4 million mothers across America, I had witnessed the challenges moms faced around parent care. In fact, it turns out about half of women age 40-60 in the US have an aging parent over 65 and are caring for their own children — at the same time. As a result, they are sometimes referred to as the “Sandwich Generation."
We had also seen the incredible appetite on the part of stay-at-home moms and part-time working moms to be able to earn flexible income on the side while doing meaningful work. When we first started Envoy, the fundamental question was simply this: “could we build a great service serving seniors and their families around these amazing people, these moms in local neighborhoods everywhere?” It seemed like a crazy idea at the time, but it turns out it was a perfect match.
We couldn’t be happier to be helping our fast-growing community of now over 500 local Envoys succeed, and make a positive difference in their lives and families as well.
A Big Thank You
As I reflect on how far we’ve come and where we’re headed, first thank you for allowing me to share a little more about my personal journey.
I’d like to thank everyone on the Envoy Team for their passion, hard work, and commitment to our journey. It’s a privilege to work with these amazing folks, and they are doing some of the best work of their lives in service of our mission to empower those who care and those who need care to live life to the fullest.
I'd also like thank our amazing set of investors for their support: SoftTech VC, Lowercase Capital, ENIAC Ventures, Structure Capital, Technicolor Ventures, Vayner/RSE, Douglas Feirstein, Raj Gajwani, Fabrice Grinda & Jose Marin of FJ Labs, Edward Park, Gary Swart, and Tyler Willis.
I’m so pleased to be working with Stephanie Palmeri from SoftTech VC, who joined our Board of Directors. Well-deserved special thanks also go to our fantastic group of advisors: Hilary Billings, Andy Cohen, Tom Fallows, Daniel Hoffer, Scott Rafer, and Artie Wu.
The Journey Ahead
As we look forward to making a positive impact in the lives of seniors and families across America, I invite you to stay tuned to the new Envoy Blog and follow our collective journey - including more stories from within our local client and Envoy communities, useful content on technology & aging, and periodic behind-the-scenes looks at what makes a service like Envoy possible. You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @helloenvoy.
We’re so very excited about what’s to come.