Prior to the pandemic, women were bearing the brunt of unpaid care work, including looking after children or caring for elderly relatives.
Research by the International Labor Organization found that on average women across the world do four hours and 25 minutes of unpaid care work daily, compared to only one hour and 23 minutes for men.
The aim of New York-based tech startup Wellthy and its digital care concierge service is to keep employees in the workforce by supporting them with their care responsibilities. It already works with companies like Facebook, Salesforce, Cisco, and Accenture.
Wellthy has raised $35 million in a round led by Rethink Impact to continue to expand its offerings across the world and to develop its product suite.
Existing investors Hearst, Polaris Partners, and Eldridge, as well as new investor Workday Ventures, also participated in the round.
Talking about the investment, Rethink Impact founder and managing partner Jenny Abramson commented: “Lack of access to and the affordability of care has driven three million women out of the workforce and female participation is now at its lowest level since 1988.
“Wellthy is fulfilling a critical aspect of caregiving, helping thousands of employees stay in the workforce, while saving time and money for families.”
The startup’s platform matches employees up with an expert professional based on their needs and then provides access to a care dashboard that takes away the logistical and administrative burden of organizing care. All of this is personalized to the specific employer and employee using the service.
The platform can support employees and their families with legal and financial challenges, medical needs like appointments, prescriptions and access to records, housing issues particularly for older dependents, as well as provide access to support groups and social activities.
Wellthy founder and CEO Lindsay Jurist-Rosner noted: “As companies bring employees back into the office, employers are finding that caregiving has become a critical barrier to re-entry because new flexible and hybrid work arrangements are presenting significant new challenges to family care infrastructure.
“By taking the logistical and administrative burden off of families, Wellthy’s support has been critical to keeping many employees in the workforce through the pandemic and we are continuing to see increased demand from employers looking to alleviate the strains of caregiving.”