Westfield Health has invested in 3rings - the elderly care tech start-up showcased by serial entrepreneur Steve Purdham on Dragons' Den.
The health insurer is the first strategic investor in 3rings and is supporting the commercial rollout of the 3rings technology, which is designed to help families who have older relatives living alone.
Westfield Health has identified elder care as an emerging employee benefit and plans to offer the 3rings ‘Internet of Things' smart plug and cloud service to existing and new customers.
The 3rings smartplug connects household appliances, like a kettle or TV, with a cloud messaging platform to provide reassuring updates about routine use.
It alerts family when there could be a problem via a smartphone app, email, text or automated calls
3rings' founder Steve Purdham had appeared on BBC's Dragons' Den alongside his 84-year-old mum Iris. The TV Dragons had been asked to invest £300,000 in exchange for a 10% share.
In this seed round, Westfield Health invested more than double the funding 3rings had hoped to raise in the Den.
David Capper, commercial director at Westfield Health, said: "There is an emerging market for smart technology to support health, wellbeing and family care. The UK population is getting older and many of our customers are in the ‘sandwich generation' - balancing work commitments, with caring for older family members and looking after their own children - 3rings technology has the potential to help.
"This is our first major external investment of this type. As well as assisting us in broadening our service portfolio it supports our ethos of helping people at every stage of their lives."
Steve Purdham, 3rings co-founder said: "Our partnership with Westfield Health goes beyond the financial investment and we will be working together on innovative product development and distribution to take 3rings and family social care to its next phase."
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