Constantine and Verity, Good Life Sorted.

good life sorted

This weeks members interview features Constantine Karampatsos and Verity Batchelder of Good Life Sorted.

It would be fair to say that the sector the team at Good Life Sorted are working in is a hot potato, certainly if you read the press right now, elderly care is due somewhat of a shake up. With election promises to deliver on and a major funding shortfall to deal with. However, as Constantine was quick to point out, this discussion has been ongoing for the last ten years so don’t hold your breath. In the meantime the population is steadily ageing and our elderly friends and relatives need support.

The Good Life Sorted platform connects elderly customers with carers to help with specific tasks and it’s proving to be wildly popular. They’ve been a member of our start-up community for a while and we were delighted they agreed to be interviewed.

How did Good Life Sorted start?

Like a lot of start-ups Good Life Sorted came from a very personal place. Constantine taking inspiration from his grandma Zoe, who stayed active and independent in the comfort of her own home until she reached 96 years old. All that grandma needed was a hand with the daily chores and someone to enjoy a cup of tea with. Mary, a caring and reliable neighbour, visited grandma a few times a week for a few hours to make sure that she kept safe and that she had the support she needed to live independently.

The team recognised that this desire to stay in the home is incredibly strong, older people just need some support to make it work. Coupled to an increasingly ageing population, estimated at over 17 million Britons will be over 65 in 2035, there was an obvious gap for a business. Specifically a business that could connect the elderly with vetted helpers to ensure continued quality of life. To support all this the UK will need another 650,000 carers and we need companies like Good Life Sorted to help plug that hole.

The BBC explain it better

Verity was recently interview by the BBC, it’s a great piece so here’s the video.

Nobody is under any illusions as to the scope of the challenge we face as a society with elderly care. It’s great to see companies like Good Life Sorted creating novel solutions to the problem.

Funding and fundraising

Blushes ensue! Good Life Sorted found one of their key investors via the Decksender platform as part of their recent raise. So yes it definitely works. They will also be embarking on a second round towards the end of this year and into 2021. To date they have run a pre-seed round which has allowed them to get the product right and role out selectively in the south of the UK.

If you want to find out more about their next raise contact details are below.

Covid impact

It’s a question I’m asking everyone right now. Luckily the team weren’t too badly affected, In fact the lockdown period gave them an opportunity to do two crucial things.

Firstly they spent time asking their audience about their brand, finding out what resonated best in order to solidify their brand and messaging. As Verity says it was a vital exercise they may not have otherwise had time to complete. I whole heartedly agree with this. Too many start-ups don’t have a deep understanding of their own brands and it leads to confused messaging and inconsistencies.

Secondly they spent time improving their product. I don’t think i need to tell anyone how important that is.

They were due to make their first few hires and delayed this but as Constantine says:

Interviewing customers and stakeholders was the best value for money exercise we’ve done. We now really understand our brand and messaging and can act accordingly.

They also had to shorten their last raise a little. But i have no doubt that when they move onto their next round they won’t struggle to find backers.

The detail

If you’d like to learn more here’s some useful links:

Good Life Sorted

Verity on Linkedin linkedin.com/in/verity-batchelder-a270477

Constantine on Linkedin linkedin.com/in/karampatsos

Good Life Sorted raised money through Decksender. You can too.

We’ve sent our 100,000th deck.

100,00th deck

The 4th of July will forever be a special date in our hearts, the day we sent our 100,000th investment deck!!

How many whoop, whoops can you get in a post before it gets tiring? Let’s find out.

On a more serious note we are amazingly proud to have sent out our 100,000th deck. Decksender started in 2018 with an entirely remote team with members in the UK, Spain, India, Kenya and the Philippines. To this day Decksender has continued to be a distributed business albeit effectively a not for profit one.

How did Decksender come to be?

Launched by veteran angel investor and serial entrepreneur, Doug Scott and technologist Mike Sutton – Decksender was born out of an irreverent desire to break down the barriers of homogeneous networks of investors  – especially in the venture capitalist sector – that are pervasive in the global startup ecosystem. 

Whilst the state of affairs where a combination of gender, ethnicity, education seems to determine who got access to funding was not necessarily a deliberate one, it has become self fulfilling and results in a limited variety of solutions to a very limited  number of problems. The team at Decksender believe this is both fundamentally unfair and , more importantly, disastrous for humanity. It means we are limiting the range of solutions to some very pressing problems in the world – for which we all pay a price, especially at a time when we must be exploring as many viable ideas as possible – regardless of where they come from.

So Mike and Doug built on their experience of the startup ecosystem to build a platform where anyone from anywhere in the world can access funding from anywhere else in the world without having to rely on who they knew.

Who uses Decksender?

With over 5,000 start-up businesses on the platform and 1,000 plus investors Decksender serves both sides of the start=up ecosystem. Decksender is more than just a glorified way to email a pitch deck. All submissions are vetted before intelligent matching, there’s also a thriving community, meet-ups (of the virtual variety right now) and a number of perks for users.

What’s next?

As we move through 2020 the next phase of Decksender will bring more expertise to the platform and members perks as more investors and start-ups.

We want Decksender to be synonymous with thriving new businesses a place where ideas can grow.

Download the press release

Decksender helps start-ups reach investors.

Meet the member – Susan Kabani of Ugenie

Meet the member Ugenie

This week we meet Susan Kabani of Ugenie.

Some of you may already know Susan as she runs an awesome pitch event but this week we’re here to talk about her start-up Ugenie. the Ugenie platform allows organisations to create their own private communities. A bit like a Facebook group but without all the noise. These hubs are a direct contrast to concerns that people have around the major platforms and are a great way to connect users in a safe environment. Susan has been a member of our start-up community for a while and we were super happy she agreed to be interviewed.

The background

Susan founded Ugenie alongside her co-founder and husband back in 2016. As newlyweds they were dividing up household tasks and hit upon the idea of a platform that could do that for them. The first iteration was designed to be a better version of a Whats App group, connecting neighbours to share day to day tasks. They designed and launch their app over the coming months. Over the next few years and led by their pursuit of product market fit they arrived at the current product iteration. Traction has been steady with uptake growing month on month since. Businesses and communities love Ugenie because it’s everything a Facebook group isn’t. Content isn’t drowned out and security is assured, users and the businesses aren’t at the mercy of an algorithm. Most importantly Ugenie don’t take ownership of the user data at all, their subscription model ensures their revenue isn’t determined by the data they own. Their growth has attracted a number of corporates to their platform as well, seeking a better way of managing and interacting with their communities.

Last month they launched their web based version which allows customers to integrate the platform with their websites and authenticate login via Ugenie connecting the community with the web property directly.

Raising

To date Ugenie has been funded by angels via SEIS and latterly EIS but the team are gearing for a larger raise in the next few months. They have big ambitions to really push the platform and it’s capabilities with the launch of an updated app a revamped website and new hires to deliver on their growth aspirations.

The Covid question

It had to be asked! Like a lot of start-up founders Susan doesn’t draw a salary from the company and their team are all contractors. This has put virtually all government assistance out of reach. Although their corporate clients have gone on pause, interestingly they’ve seen an increase in uptake on the platform during lockdown amongst smaller businesses and communities. The last three months have seen faster growth then the first quarter of 2020. With more people relying on digital communications Ugenie has been well placed to help power fledgling communities across the country.

The future

As well as a raise the team are gearing up for a big marketing push. It’s hard to gauge where the market is right now but I certainly feel a product like Ugenie is well positioned to take advantage of the new normal as this takes hold through the remainder of 2020.

The reality is that so many different kinds of communities and businesses can use Ugenie especially to test and validate ideas that their scope for growth is huge.

Ugenie the details

You can check out Ugenie here and grab a free trial.

Or tap Susan up for a free strategy/demo session here.
Ugenie on Linkedin

Ugenie use Decksender to reach investors, you can too