The technology of the age is not reserved for the elderly. It’s for anyone who wants quality of life as they age. This is where Primetime Partners comes in.
The venture capital firm was launched in 2020 by Abby Levy, who co-founded Thrive Global with Ariana Huffington, and Alan Patricof, founder of Greycroft Partners. For Primetime Partners, “age tech” can affect nearly every sector of what Patricof calls the “ageless population:” health tech, fintech, consumer tech, accessory tech and more. others.
Primetime now has 23 portfolio companies, including: RocketDollar, which helps people save for retirement faster through investing in alternative assets; Home Care Genie, an insurtech that provides home care products; Aidaly, which helps family caregivers find financial reimbursements; Yes Hearing, a concierge-style service for hearing aids; and Kindra, a direct-to-consumer startup for menopause-related products.
Primetime also conducts its own research into senior demographics, dispelling many myths along the way. For example, older adults appear to be less online or less willing to spend money than their younger counterparts.
But according to Primetime data, there are 50 million seniors in the United States, and it’s the fastest growing segment of the population, growing three to six times the rate of the rest of the country. By 2030, 10,000 to 12,000 people will retire every day and spend money online. Of these retirees, 75% are likely to make an online purchase, and 44% rank the Internet as their most preferred source of health information.
The impact of COVID-19
Primetime has launched and is gearing up to fundraise just as COVID lockdowns hit the United States. “Alan and I were on the phone in April 2020, saying should we just take a break until there’s better scenery?” said Levy. “I really thank Alan for saying that it’s actually the best time to move forward and actually we’ve made four investments while raising money simultaneously because we’ve seen so many opportunities in this space.”
Fundraising has also evolved rapidly. The majority of Primetime’s $50 million ($30 million) inaugural fund was raised in about a month and closed three months later.
COVID has also heightened entrepreneurs’ interest in age tech, Levy added.
“COVID has dramatically changed that because every person in our country has become somewhat of a gatekeeper for someone who was older or has become aware of what it’s like to grow old in our country or in general,” said she said, adding “Entrepreneurs and founders, frankly, all have personal stories now, personal pain points, related in some way to aging that were really accelerated or accentuated during COVID.
The Primetime Wallet
Levy said Primetime is looking for “companies that are tackling big issues, like the problem of social isolation among seniors, retirement and financial security and companies that are tackling the fact that there are There are very few products on the shelves that deal with menopause, which 50% of the population will experience, including 50 million women over the age of 50 in the United States alone.
For example, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, founder and CEO of Kindra, told TechCrunch in an email that the company also wants to “de-stigmatize menopause and dispel the taboo, so women feel informed, comfortable and independent throughout their journey to menopause”.
Primetime has also invested in a number of fintech companies, including those dealing with liquidity, financial planning and retirement. These are questions that concern all adults, regardless of age. For example, someone in their 30s or 40s might not only need to plan for their own retirement, but also help their parents or other family members.
RocketDollar CEO Henry Yoshida told TechCrunch that its average users are between the ages of 40 and 70, which makes for a mix of people planning to retire and people who have already retired.
Levy highlights the gender and age diversity of the founders of Primetime’s portfolio. “I think many of these issues are central to the concerns of women who are caregivers. In our portfolio, 10 of the 23 founders are women, but I want to emphasize that the CEOs are women. It’s not just a founding member of a founding team, 10 out of 23 companies have a female CEO.
The fund also strives to attract older founders over the age of 50. “As you can imagine, it’s quite difficult because there are a lot of reasons why people in their 50s and 60s want to take on the intensity, pressure and stress of building a startup.” , said Levy. “I wish I had more, but we have four companies founded and led by CEOs over 50 and we absolutely would love more.”
Sponsoring Partners, Clients and Collaboration
Primetime works closely with portfolio companies to develop marketing and distribution strategies. Its portfolio is evenly split between business and DTC business, with some overlap.
Levy said when she co-founded Primetime, her assumption was that there were only three types of enterprise customers: health plans or payers; operators of residences for the elderly; and the government. But “as we move forward, the industry has continued to diversify,” she said. “Additional corporate customers are all hospital systems, then any risky entities, like Oak Street or Landmark, and employers who are also a different customer base.”
Employers have also become an important clientele. For example, one of Primetime’s employer-focused holding companies is called Empathy, which helps them provide bereavement leave.
Several of Primetime’s investments focus on the “sandwich generation,” or people who care for both children and aging parents or other loved ones.
“Family caregiving is a very big topic in our country, especially with 50 million unpaid, untrained family caregivers spending an average of $7,000 out of pocket to help their loved ones each year,” Levy said. . “We have about four businesses that are in and around family caregiving because we think it’s a tremendous opportunity to serve this audience, and they’re a real resource and asset to everyone.”
Primetime’s limited partners include three nursing home operators and two hospital systems, which also help the fund conduct due diligence.
“What’s interesting is that because of our horizontal or cross-functional expertise, we’ve become very friendly with other vertically oriented venture capital funds, whether it’s digital health or health services or fintech, etc.” said Levy.
“We’ve actually been brought into a lot of deals because of the collaborative nature of other funds saying ‘hey, you’re experts in this population, why don’t you come? And if you know anything about venture capital, especially in today’s competitive environment, it’s very unusual to have that kind of invitation.