This San Francisco entrepreneur wants to create the Craigslist for home care – San Francisco Business Times – The Business Journals

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At home caregiving is still an industry that operates largely as a grey market, with a workforce culled from internet classifieds or personal referrals who are mainly paid under the table.
For many families cost is a major factor in foregoing traditional home care agencies. But even those looking to find legitimate self-service caregiving options run headlong into bevy of legal and labor issues outside the grasp and expertise of an average family.
Enter Kindly Care, a San Francisco startup meant to connect caregivers with clients looking for their services, as well as handle back end administrative and compliance work. The company’s is being boosted by a $5.4 million Series A funding round led by Javelin Venture Partners, meant to kick off a wider national expansion starting with the East Coast.
What sets Kindly Care apart from open marketplaces like Craigslist is the level of vetting required before being listed on the platform. In order to qualify for Kindly Care, caregivers must pass a background check and are quizzed on their expertise, training and experience.
Once listed on the platform, Kindly Care plays matchmaker between caregivers and clients by pairing specific skills, characteristics and work requirements. The platform then centers in on a few top candidates, making it easier for potential clients to pursue a more in-depth follow up and interview process before selecting the caregiver. Prices and hourly rates are then personally negotiated between the client and the caregiver.
“I would imagine that any one of us, when selecting someone for our family, are concerned not just with the cost and but making sure that they get along with each other, said Kindly Care CEO Igor Lebovic.
Kindly Care makes money by charging a hourly commission on top of the caregiver pay rate which covers its fees and services, which include the marketplace as well as scheduling, payroll and overtime tracking capabilities.
The company is the brainchild of Lebovic and his co-founder Erik Fantasia, serial entrepreneurs who previously founded diet and nutrition startup Calorie Count and sold the company to About.com. The central idea of Kindly Care, according to Lebovic, is to build a platform specifically meant to address the specific concerns of the elder care market.
Currently, Kindly Care includes more than 100,000 caregivers on its platform and has expanded its geography into parts of Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Florida from its initial market in San Francisco.
Angela Osorio has been using the Kindly Care platform to find work in the Bay Area as a caregiver for the past two years and said she appreciates the flexibility and speed the service has in matching caregivers with potential job opportunities, which she experienced first-hand after one of her full-time clients passed away.
One additional advantage Osorio highlighted is the ability to negotiate prices and benefits directly with the client, helping to build a more direct and stronger personal relationship.
“As a caregiver you want to work an organization that not takes care of the caregiver, but also takes care of the client,” Osorio said.
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