Over the past 100 years, the average human lifespan has roughly doubled. And as life expectancy rises, the senior population is growing, too. By 2050, well over a fifth of Americans are expected to be 65 and over. An American born today, meanwhile, can expect to live to nearly 80.
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In short, we’re getting older. And startups and venture investors — ever cognizant of growth markets — are scaling up efforts to serve our fast-growing aging population.
So far this year, VCs have poured over half a billion dollars into U.S. startups focused on eldercare and home health care, Crunchbase data shows. Funded companies include Papa, a platform connecting older adults with people to provide companionship and assistance; Ruby, a startup that helps seniors make safety upgrades to their homes; and Harmonize, a remote care platform focused on people with serious conditions.
The funding comes as seniors are increasingly opting to stay put, with survey data showing that three-fourths of older adults prefer to continue living in their homes as long as possible. The space got a further boost in 2020 as the pandemic fueled demand for at-home and remotely delivered health care.
“There are so many tailwinds coming out of this pandemic,” said Helen Adeosun, founder and CEO of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based CareAcademy, a venture-backed startup that provides training for home health providers. “One is that we as a country have discovered that a lot of things can be done at home, including health care.”
Certainly startup investors have discovered this. In the last five calendar years, venture backers have invested more than $2.5 billion into eldercare and home health startups. Though not all home health care startups are specifically focused on seniors, they are power users on most platforms, accounting for an outsized share of overall health spending.
Using Crunchbase data, we break down the numbers in the chart below: