Deary LLC Business Plan Summary
Deary is solving the senior technology and quality of life gap, and by doing so is solving for senior loneliness, physical handicap, creating more robust services provision for seniors, and reducing high operating costs for senior housing operators. As a senior housing real estate developer and operator, I know first-hand the struggles our seniors face in communicating with their loved ones, communicating their needs, receiving real-time information, getting emergency help, and accessing technology. I also know that the senior housing industry has no comprehensive solution currently to this problem. Deary is that solution.
Deary is making seniors lives better. By enabling seniors to access technology they otherwise could not, we are changing their lives. Deary allows seniors to use simple inputs, such as their voice or a simple touch, to access a myriad of services, communication tools, needs, and information. Deary is a software based technology platform with Artificial Intelligence and patent pending networking built around seniors' lives and needs. Combining this proprietary software with specific hardware, such as voice recognition and touch devices, creates a turnkey solution for seniors to live happier, healthier lives from inside their residences.
Deary allows seniors to speak their needs and get solutions, as opposed to getting frustrated trying to use a handheld device (i.e. smartphone or landline) or having to physically move for assistance. Our solution empowers seniors to have access to services and provides a safe, real time solution to emergencies.
Deary can help any senior or person with access to technology issues anywhere, but our first go-to-market segment will be Senior Housing operators. These operators support hundreds of seniors at each of their locations and understand the need for a life changing solution such as Deary, as much as seniors themselves.
Deary will be sold as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business. Operators will pay a monthly fee per unit, in the range of $15-20. Each package will include the hardware, a software license, and access to secure backend data, dashboards, and analysis. Seniors will be able to take advantage of a robust offering of services, and operators will save money while providing better services than they otherwise could.
My position as a senior housing developer and operator gives me direct insight into the daily challenges seniors face, as well as the operational challenges operators face. My colleagues are also our customers-other senior housing operators.
Deary is a bootstrapped start-up. In addition to the sweat equity of our three founders, we have won two hackathons, but have no formal source of funding. We are all first-time founders. We incorporated the business in late 2016.
We are currently in partnership with one of the largest electronic device manufacturers in the world, who want to provide unique hardware devices with patented technology and have Deary be their partner for reaching seniors with their technology. While we do not currently have positive cash flow, we will be implementing a demonstration in two senior housing properties in the next two months to gain feedback on a few of the initial functions of the product and develop more core features.
Funding and support from the 50/50 Founders Fund would enable us to ramp up on technical development and build an operational MVP to further deploy with seniors. Currently, our two technical founders are working part-time due to funding constraints. If we receive the 50/50 Grant, we project that within the year, we will have a viable product on the market with positive cash flow. Within 2 years, we project profits in the four hundred thousands, given the 94% margin of our product. More details on financials projections in our 5-year Projections below.
There is a lack of options for seniors to communicate with operators, loved ones, and service providers, especially in real time. Only 18% of seniors own smartphones, and even fewer are comfortable using them. Senior Housing Operators have few senior-friendly technology options and incur large operational expense for employing physical bodies to provide service solutions. Deary provides companionship to seniors, 43% of whom report feeling lonely on a regular basis, which has a causal relationship to negative health outcomes, including depression and dementia.
The need for Deary is great, and is only increasing. Currently, the senior housing market is ~ $300 billion. And the “Silver Tsunami” is coming—as baby boomers age, the number of seniors in the US alone is going to close-to double by 2030, to 77 million, bringing the senior housing market to approximately $513 billion. Baby boomers also have the highest ability to pay of any group: they account for 70% of US financial assets.
While Deary's focus is senior housing, there are opportunities for our technology in aging-in-place seniors' homes and traditional apartment complexes. These later two market segments create an overall feasible market in the trillions. Our team has designed a patent pending system that will revolutionize lives.
There are three buckets of competitors: emergency monitors, real and virtual caregivers, and comprehensive platforms for seniors. The majority of the competitors fall in the first two buckets; while these provide some aspect of competition for Deary, they do not provide a full-stack of functions and features. The third category has only one true competitor, and even they do not have the advanced technological capabilities of Deary.
Emergency Monitors: traditionally, these have come in the form of Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). PERS are most famous from Life Alert's “I've fallen and I can't get up” TV ads. This industry has not evolved a great amount since its infamous days in the 80s; while some new technology has been integrated into these typically button based emergency devices, the function is the same: a button or sensor is triggered and an emergency signal is sent. PERS are an important aspect of providing emergency response for seniors, especially those who age-in-place.
Caregivers: Caregivers are a vital part of the senior living ecosystem. Caregivers range from providing basic needs services to being companions for seniors. The traditional caregiver is a physical person who spends in person time with seniors; new companies have emerged that use technology to provide virtual companions.
Platforms: There is a lack of platforms that provide comprehensive care for seniors. The one major entrant in the space is K4Connect. K4Connect has raised close to $10mm and is a technology platform to help seniors control their homes and spaces through IoT.
There are many companies that recognize the needs of seniors and have built a business around servicing these needs. None have the combination of technology and holistic provision that Deary does, with the insights of a Senior Housing operator.
Deary's go-to-market strategy is to partner with and sell to housing operators. These operators are perfectly positioned for Deary: they are managing heavily personnel dependent business (14-20% of OpEx is on staffing), their business is to provide services and respond to seniors' needs, and they house hundreds of customers on average at one location. The senior housing operator market is also fragmented—the top 10 providers only account for 20% of the entire market, so providers are always looking for differentiating factors for their business, opening the door for Deary to be a great asset to their business.
Deary is built for ease of expansion across a portfolio. Our strategy is to provide free trials to a number of units for major operators and then grow within their portfolios as Deary's value proposition is realized.
Deary will charge a monthly subscription fee that includes all necessary hardware and software, as well as associated dashboards and analytics for users and operators.
With hardware costs to Deary in the range of $45-55, monthly plans would start at $15/month and have a 94% margin. Given senior housing operators' spend on staffing, Deary can save between $4,000-21,000/property/year for operators while providing additional top of class services to what operators are currently providing.
With very conservative assumptions, Deary is set to have a profit of over $22.5 million at the end of Year 5. This represents only a 10% penetration rate against the type of senior housing that Deary will target (not even the entire potential market for Deary).
In Year 1, assuming 134 units sold (0.01% of the market, which could be just 1 customer with a property with 134 or more units), Deary would have revenue of about $24,000. With conservative Year 2 and Year 3 growth to a total penetration of 1% of the market by the end of Year 3, or 13,370 units sold (between approximately 100-250 customers depending on property size), Deary would have a profit of over $2.2 million. See the full 5-year projections below.
Amit Sarin is the Founder and CEO of Deary. He has help from two technical co-founders but they are currently part-time. The 50/50 Founders' Fund would allow Deary to hire the necessary technical talent to complete its MVP and go-to-market.
Amit is a Partner at a Senior Housing Development company that builds affinity senior housing (www.priyaliving.com). He co-runs all aspects of the company, focusing on building the business, property development, overseeing property operations infrastructure development, and innovation. He has learned the problems seniors and senior operators face first hand, and built Deary to solve for service provision limitations and high operating costs. He previously worked as a Senior Advisor for the Obama Administration, a Consultant to renowned Affordable Green Housing Developer Jonathan Rose Companies, and a community organizer.
Deary has an informal group of key advisors, ranging from a former Venture Capital Partner to SaaS start-up CEOs to CEOs of Senior Housing Development companies, with an emphasis on Senior Housing C-suite Execs.