From The Advertiser, September 23, 2019
CareApp, which is already used by dozens of aged care providers across the country, is planning a US expansion after securing funding from Adelaide investor group Southern Angels.
THE creator of an app designed to monitor the welfare of elderly loved ones in care is eyeing expansion into the lucrative US market after securing $500,000 in funding from a local investor group.
CareApp is already used by dozens of aged care providers across the country, with Adelaide-based founder Allison Nikula planning to use the injection of funds to accelerate commercialisation both locally and in the US.
Southern Angels – a not-for-profit network of high net worth individuals – has backed the company with investment, with member Nick Heywood-Smith joining the board of CareApp as part of the deal.
Ms Nikula, an occupational therapist and graduate of Business SA’s SA Young Entrepreneur Scheme, said investment would be made into product development and customer support.
“It’s exciting to attract investors from right here in South Australia,” she said. “Our expanded team will be located in Adelaide’s new home of entrepreneurship, Stone and Chalk at Lot Fourteen.
“Over the next 12 months we will work closely with Australian aged care providers, helping to restore confidence in the sector by providing a direct window into the care and wellbeing of loved ones, before entry into the US market in late 2020.”
CareApp is a smartphone app allowing carers to photograph – with permission – people in care while updating their records, noting anything from physical and mood changes through to whether they are taking medication, even if they are washing regularly.
Family members can view the information on their smartphones, allowing them to keep an eye on relatives in between visits, including any sign of physical changes from bed sores to bruises.
Since signing up SA provider St Louis Home Care as its first customer, CareApp has entered licence agreements with 16 aged care service providers across the country.
Over the next 12 months, it will be rolled out to a further 80 service providers, to reach more than 15,000 users in care.
Mr Heywood-Smith believes CareApp will help limit failures identified in the recent aged care royal commission. “I’m looking forward to investing time, money and expertise to support the growth of this promising South Australian tech company,” he said.
Southern Angels made its maiden investment last November, injecting more than $200,000 into local biotech company GPN Vaccines.
Chairman David Saint said the group had since reviewed more than 50 start-ups, with 12 progressing to pitch and several expected to receive investment.
“Momentum is good, and we will continue to produce quality deal-flow for our members’ consideration as they build their portfolio of early stage company investments,” he said.