The stereotype goes both ways: Old fogies don’t have much interest in technology, and the technology industry doesn’t much care about serving seniors.
But that’s changing, with a new startup called Honor that has raised some $20 million to give seniors better in-home care. It follows another Silicon Valley startup called True Link Financial that aims to protect seniors from scams and fraud that recently raised $3.4 million.
In tech-jargony terms, Honor is Uber for senior caretakers. The company matches independent care professionals with seniors and pays them $15-17 per hour.
Honor also adds an in-home screen for seniors, as well as mobile apps for their children, who pay $27-30 per hour, and the caretakers themselves. It’s expected to be available this month in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“I’m tired of dancing pixels on a screen,” said Honor co-founder and CEO Seth Sternberg. He previously co-founded the social media service Meebo, which was sold to Google’s social division (Google+) three years ago. “I just don’t really care about, ‘This is a cool app that helps us communicate better,'” he added. “Those are great, but don’t inspire us anymore. The number one requirement of me and my co-founders is to look millions of people in the eye and know that we’re making their lives fundamentally better.”
Sternberg said that even though Silicon Valley groupthink may not yet have decided the new hotness is old people, it was surprisingly easy to convince Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz to invest $15 million and join Honor’s board. A large group of angels including Kapor Capital, Ron Johnson, Max Levchin, Max Ventilla, Senator Bob Kerrey, Jeremy Stoppelman, Andrew Conrad, Jessica Alba and Cash Warren provided the round’s remaining $5 million.
For seniors, Honor will provide access to home professionals who focus not just on their physical needs but also their emotional issues, like isolation — and who have more information about their personal history. For home care professionals, Honor will pay better, be respectful of their expertise and give them more of a community, Sternberg said. For adult children, the aim is to do better background checks, make it easier to coordinate care and give more visibility into what actually goes on in the home.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.