Mumbai: Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has made a seed investment in a startup called “Goodfellows” that aims to help the elderly by pairing them with young and educated graduates for meaningful companionship, the startup said on Tuesday.
In the last six months, “Goodfellows” has completed a successful beta and will now be available in Mumbai and soon in Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru.
“The bonds between the two generations created by Goodfellows are very meaningful and are helping to address an important social issue In India. I hope the investment helps the young team at Goodfellows grow,” said Tata.
During the beta testing, Goodfellows received a positive response with over 800 applications from young graduates looking to be employed at Goodfellows of which a shortlisted cohort of 20 provided companionship to the elderly in Mumbai.
“In its beta phase, we discovered how organically the Grandpals bonded with the Goodfellows. Tata’s investment in our venture further is a huge source of encouragement to our dedication to this concept,” said Shantanu Naidu, the founder of the startup and General Manager in the office of Ratan Tata.
There are 15 million elderlies in India living alone, either due to loss of a partner, or families moving away for unavoidable work reasons.
The business model of Goodfellows is a freemium subscription model.
The first month is free with only the goal of having the Grandpal experience this service. The second month onward is a small subscription fee that has been decided based on the limited affordability of pensioners.
Goodfellows also offers short term internships as well as employment to graduates looking to find a job that allows them to apply their educational background in this space.
“The major percentage of funds from investors are currently geared towards scaling up the goodfellow human capital, which is a slow process since empathy cannot be vetted quickly or by the traditional recruiting process,” said the startup.