Company debuts, news: 3rings, GrandCare Systems

3rings debuts (UK)

click to enlargeIf you remember back in the landline-only days, a clever and toll-free way to let a family member or friend that you had arrived at your destination and you were fine, was to ring their number three times, then hang up. 3rings.co.uk brings this idea back for older family members and their families in a slightly different form. The older person either calls 3rings or answers their call, and the system generates an ‘all’s well’ message sent to designated family, neighbors and friends via smartphone app (iOS and Android), call, text, email or web. Lack of contact generates a red alert. What is new is that if one person in the group clicks on the alert to indicate that they will check on the person, an amber alert is created to advise all others on the notification list. A green ‘all clear’ is sent once it’s confirmed that the older individual is fine. There is a free trial with two levels of subscription services (£5.99/month and £9.99/month). Founders Steve Purdham (Chairman) and Gareth Reakes (CEO) have a successful entrepreneurial track record, most recently with UK/Ireland music service WE7, sold to Tesco in 2012. They were inspired by Gareth’s nan, Vera, and Steve’s mum, Iris, who appears in this video on the 3rings YouTube playlist. ‘How it works’ video (YouTube), press release (PDF)

GrandCare Systems’ fund raising (US/UK)

click to enlargeOne of telecare and telehealth’s true ‘grizzled pioneers’ in telecare remote monitoring and now socialization, Wisconsin-based GrandCare Systems, has announced a $2 million capital raise. New CEO and local investor Dan Maynard is leading the charge to pitch GrandCare to large family investment funds, institutional investors and strategic investors such as insurers. Like 3rings, family reasons were behind GrandCare’s development and it’s remained self-funded to date. Of note is that the company has reached 1,000 units in use, even at a premium $699 plus monthly subscription fee, and is projecting an increase to 10,000 units. New agreements have been inked with UnitedHealthcare, CenturyLink Home Security Services and Amazon.com’s 50 Plus section. Saga Group also distributes GrandCare in the UK (TTA 24 Jan 13, 10 Jan 13). This Editor, a former competitor, has to cheer the founder, Charles Hillman and his team, notably Laura Mitchell who is a relentless marketer in only the best sense of the term, for sticking with the vision and making it successful. Milwaukee Business Journal

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