The U.S. is facing a growing crisis in care, including childcare and care for the aging, which has worsened and become more visible in the pandemic. A steady stream of research and data has underscored this ongoing crisis:
· The New York Times recently reported that while women’s participation in the labor force has recovered roughly as much as men’s since the beginning of the pandemic, a lack of child care and elder care options has forced millions of women to limit their hours or sidelined careers altogether. This is straining the economy at a time when companies are desperate to hire.
· Providing insights on the future of work, Boston Consulting Group revealed that jobs in child, adult, and medical (especially chronic) care are now projected to provide three-quarters of the nation’s job growth by 2030 — yet the sector faces a massive and growing labor shortage.
· The US Department of Labor has repeatedly named family caregiving and related costs as a key challenge for the labor force and the US economy. Last year, the US Department of the Treasury released a report calling the US childcare system a market failure and a need for innovation.
While care challenges in the U.S. feel overwhelming, as investors, we see an enormous opportunity for tech entrepreneurs to create new businesses and innovative solutions that move care forward while generating massive returns for investors. At Magnify Ventures, we invest in visionary founders who are leveraging technology to transform how we live, work, and care for each other.
As part of the Pivotal Ventures Move Care Forward initiative, we’re highlighting three portfolio companies that are building the future of care.
Kinside: Accessible and affordable childcare solutions for working parents
Finding affordable childcare is one of the biggest challenges working parents face today. Kinside makes the process easier by providing a marketplace of verified caregivers and helping parents tap into their flexible spending accounts (FSA) and other employee benefits to help pay for childcare. Kinside leverages data to bring greater accuracy and efficiency to childcare inventory and make it more accessible, and affordable. The marketplace also helps thousands of childcare providers fill vacancies by integrating with a pioneering data platform for childcare providers and government agencies.
· Kinside is collaborating with other childcare providers for comprehensive solutions, read about their partnership with Urbanssitter.
· Why Magnify is invested in Childcare Solutions, through the lens of Advisor Dr. Laura Jana.
· Kinside is hiring! Open positions here.
Cocoon: Leveraging technology to streamline leave for employers & employees
Employee leave benefits are a complicated web of company and government policies, and Cocoon brings clarity and simplicity to both the employer and employee experience. Cocoon is moving care forward by providing a tech platform that makes coordinating leave — whether for caregiving or other reasons — seamless, more efficient, and delightful for employers and employees. Cocoon’s visionary co-founders, including Mahima Chawla (CEO), Lauren Dai (COO), and Amber Feng (CTO), have led teams and technology development for some of the most transformative Silicon Valley fintech companies and have brought this experience.
· Cocoon recently launched a ‘compassionate leave policy’: a comprehensive paid, protected leave policy that accounts for less typical reasons employees may need time off and are not covered by existing laws and policies.
· Cocoon is hiring! Open positions here.
Papa: Leveraging ‘family on demand’ to improve care & life for older adults and families
Millions of older adults and their families are limited by barriers to care, whether as a result of access to transportation or feelings of isolation from their communities and loved ones. Health experts have long recognized that social isolation and loneliness pose serious risks for older adults, contributing to everything from dementia to heart disease to fall risk. In the US alone, isolation and loneliness costs $7b a year. Papa is addressing this problem and moving care forward by working with health plans and employers to connect older adults and families with help for everyday tasks, companionship, transportation, and more. By scaling ‘family on demand’ Papa is leveraging technology and data to put human connection at the center of how we care for one another.
Recent news and resources:
· You can learn more about Papa and recent research, market insights, and news here.
· Papa is hiring! Open positions here.
These companies are among many helping bring America’s care system into the 21st century, but they can’t do it alone. To learn more about Move Care Forward and the work Pivotal Ventures is doing to move society forward more broadly, visit PivotalVentures.org/MoveCareForward and follow along on Pivotal’s LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.