On-demand care service Cera lands £1.3m in seed funding

Social care start-up claims its service, which delivers carers to homes or hospital beds within four hours, could save the taxpayer £500m a year

Cera, an on-demand social care platform, has closed £1.3m in seed funding from JustEat CEO David Buttress, former chairman of Lazard and UBS banks Ken Costa and global head of digital at McKinsey & CO. Paul Willmott.

Peter Sands, the former CEO of Standard Chartered bank; angel investor Arnie Sriskandarajah; Dame Carol Black, chair of the Nuffield Trust; Tim Jackson, partner at Lean Investments; and Thomas Zeltner, former vice-chair of the World Health Organisation also participated.

Currently in beta mode, Cera was founded by doctor Ben Maruthappu and internet entrepreneur Marek Sacha to provide carers to a patient’s door or hospital bed.

Claiming to guarantee arrival within four hours, the company’s technology matches carers to the right patients, with the ability to book emergency or long-term care, manage bookings and review care records through the platform.

Cera’s ambition is to tackle bed blocking in the NHS, which it claims could save £500m a year, and relieve the pressure on the UK’s social care services by partnering with councils and hospitals. This would see its services integrated with the public care system and help people stay in their own homes longer.

It has also partnered with smart home company Gideon to help relatives check up on their loved ones and the elderly retain their independence.

Maruthappu said: “As someone who has sought care for a family member, I believe that the best home for seniors is their own. Our aim is to create a digital doorway to the over 65s, and curate services with partners to help them live more independently.

“In addition to rolling out partnerships with councils and hospitals, we are actively looking at other avenues including retail, food delivery and wearables, and how we might be able integrate them with our health-care technology.”

Sands commented: “Cera is all about enabling skilled, attentive carers to focus on what they do best – providing responsive, supportive care and companionship to people in their own homes.

“Cera’s innovative technology cuts the time carers have to spend on administrative tasks, on the phone or doing paperwork, so they can spend more of their time and energy listening, talking to and helping your loved ones.”

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