L-R: Nick Clegg, Ben Maruthappu, Marek Sacha and Peter Sands
L-R: Nick Clegg, Ben Maruthappu, Marek Sacha and Peter Sands
Richard Bell

Homecare startup backed by former Deputy PM closes $17m funding round

Homecare startup Cera has secured $17m (c.£12.5m) in Series A funding.

The oversubscribed investment round drew involvement from Guinness Asset Management, Yabeo, Kairos and several investors from Cera’s seed round, including Peter Sands, former CEO of financial services group Standard Chartered.

The investment, which comes just a year and half after the firm launched, is believed to represent the largest to date for a European startup in the social care sector.

Clerkenwell-based Cera will use the eight-figure boost to expand its services across the UK by launching in three additional cities – Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.

Cera will do this via a buy-and-build strategy that will see it acquiring struggling homecare agencies across the UK, particularly those lacking the technology to scale and grow by themselves.

The firm said its technology can quickly aggregate UK homecare businesses in a scalable manner. It said there are currently over 8,000 providers in the UK.

Cera will also use the funding to invest in its ‘Martha’ AI assistant and establish CeraFlex, a new model of social care that it said will be up to 75% more affordable than current care homes and at-home alternatives.

Dr Ben Maruthappu, Cera’s co-founder and CEO, said: “Our funding will allow us to transform the accessibility and affordability of homecare for thousands of vulnerable people like never before, all at the touch of a smartphone.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the business as we grow our team, expand internationally and, with CeraFlex, embark on arguably the biggest change to elderly care provision in a century.”

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem Leader Sir Nick Clegg recently joined Cera as chairman of the advisory board.

He commented: “The confidence shown by Cera’s investors, and the launch of a groundbreaking new social care package shaped flexibly around people’s daily needs, shows how Cera is emerging as one of the most innovative social care providers in the country.

“I am confident that as we continue to strike the right balance between technology-enabled innovation and affordable, high quality care, the company will go from strength to strength.”

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