Bristol-based care tech provider, Service Robotics, has raised £600k in its latest funding round. The company, which was shortlisted for last year’s TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme (TIPP) in association with Civica Innovation Partners, secured £300k equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) and investment from Britbots and the Enterprise 100 Angel Investment Club. Additional funding came via an overfunded campaign on the Crowdcube crowdfunding platform, which attracted over 300 investors. It follows an earlier Crowdcube campaign that ended in January 2019, which raised £160k.
Service Robotics’ proposition is based around its GenieConnect companion robot service, which uses a voice enabled robot to offer connectivity and support to older adults. It is designed to enable extended independence through information, connectivity and loneliness alleviation. The solution is delivered via a monthly subscription plan and includes one-to-one video or audio chats with the company’s health and wellbeing support team.
The latest funding will be used to further develop the business, expand its pilot program and establish a Cornwall project office in Bude.
Last year, Service Robotics started working with Torfean County Borough Council after the local authority secured £1.25m from the GovTech Catalyst Fund. The funding for the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition is intended to help develop data and digital technology to deliver better adult social care in Torfean. Service Robotics was one of five suppliers to be awarded a contract through the competition in November 2019, after the council whittled down from 86 supplier applications. Phase 1 of the competition is now complete and the council is working with the Cabinet Office to assess which suppliers have the potential to progress to Phase 2, which could be worth up to £500k each.
The importance of staying connected to family and friends has been clearly highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for many of those in later life, loneliness has had a significant impact on health and wellbeing long before the outbreak occurred. Technology will have an increasingly important role in helping vulnerable adults live independently and will attract significant interest from investors over the coming years.