Inspiring women: Devika Wood
A former Googler and ex-breast cancer research scientist, the Vida co-founder is on a mission to transform the care industry - and investors have taken note
Name: Devika Wood
Founded: Vida in June 2016
Start-up elevator pitch: Vida harnesses innovative technology and invests in high quality carers to deliver personalised in-home care to the elderly and disabled.
Funding raised: £1.6m
Follow her: @DevikaWood
Who is Devika Wood?
The co-founder of London-based tech-enabled care provider Vida, Devika Wood’s desire to start a business was borne out of a highly personal story.
From the age of 10, Wood lived with her grandmother who suffered from dementia and epilepsy. Over a 12 year period, Wood’s grandmother received care from over 150 different carers. Wood says this “lack of continuity in carers”, combined with “poor communication, monitoring and tracking” of her grandmother’s care, led to her grandmother being oversubscribed with anti-psychotic drugs. She would later become schizophrenic; institutionalised at the age of 91.
Having witnessed this poor level of care first hand, Devika became impassioned to find a solution to improve homecare and, after meeting co-founder Naushard Jabir, launched Vida in 2016.
Merging technology with healthcare, Vida capitalises on Wood’s impressive background and education. After leaving school at 18 to work for Google and then moving on to study human biology at King’s College London, Wood gained a post as a breast cancer research scientist at Imperial College London while completing a master’s degree in Public Health. Stints at health businesses Babylon and Healthcare Australia followed, paving the way for Vida…
How has she won over investors?
The first tech platform of its kind to secure approval from the Care Quality Commission, thanks to its adoption of rigorous background checks and training, Vida matches care professionals to elderly and chronically ill patients who require at-home care.
This unique concept, coupled with a goal to “redefine the care industry and raise industry standards”, has seen Wood capture investor attention to the tune of £1.6m.
This seed investment includes a £1m round led by boutique investment firm Hambro Perks to help “repair the care crisis in the local community”.