Service Robotics Limited, a health and wellbeing business focusing on supporting the vulnerable and elderly through innovative technology, has raised £600,000 in their latest funding round. The funding includes a £300,000 equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) and investment from Britbots and the Enterprise 100 Angel Investment Club.
The company has created an intelligent companion robot that will assist the elderly via patient-centred interactions. GenieConnect® helps users by providing companionship and support by offering services such as prescription management, medication reminders, daily welfare checks, video calls and music entertainment. Through intuitive AI and a dedicated Customer Care Centre, GenieConnect® can reduce loneliness and helps older people live safely and independently in their own homes.
The robot is one of the first of its kind and uses cutting edge software to better the lives of an aging population. Service Robotics launched its first pilot project in Cornwall in August 2019, and won its first contract from the NHS Small Business Research Initiative six months ago, for the way in which it is tackling one of society’s biggest social challenges.
The latest funding will be used to further develop the business, expand the pilot program and establish a Cornwall project office in Bude.
Rob Parkes, CEO of Service Robotics Limited said: “The current outbreak of Covid-19 is teaching us all the importance of staying connected and the increasing need for zero touch virtual care. Genie is on hand to support the most vulnerable people in society, giving their families peace of mind that their elderly relatives are well, safe and happy. Responses have shown that Genie is filling a definite gap in the market where live-in support is not needed but older people cannot live as independently as they once did. This investment will enable us to expand our pilot program and build on our existing relationships with local authorities and stakeholders in the adult care sector.”
Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds, Cornwall at The FSE Group, the appointed CIOSIF fund managers, added: “GenieConnect® is both an exciting and desperately needed social care innovation. The mixture of automated applications with connectivity to loved ones and caring professionals will undoubtedly be of benefit to many people in need. The importance of connecting virtually is being proven during this COVID-19 crisis and we are delighted to be supporting a company that is tackling such an important issue. We wish them all the success for the future.”
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is operated by appointed fund managers The FSE Group.
Sarah Newbould, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “By creating a friendly and responsive virtual assistant for older people, Service Robotics is helping to meet a real social need, especially for those who live on their own where isolation and loneliness can be a real issue. The fund’s investment will help move the company to the next level and it’s good to see other investors coming on board, which has doubled the impact.”
LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Our ageing society is one of the Grand Challenges identified by government and has been brought into sharp focus by the coronavirus crisis. As we look toward recovery it is innovative companies like Service Robotics that can make a real difference to people’s lives and demonstrate how Cornwall can lead the way in pioneering e-health solutions.”
CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2