Silver economy broadly refers to products and services targeting the senior population (usually defined as aged over 65). In 2020, the silver economy was estimated to represent a total purchasing power of USD 3.4 trillion in the US. Silver economy tech covers the technology solutions to enhance seniors’ quality of life and enable independent living, or aging at home. These products and services range from advanced wheelchairs, smart hearing aids, customized communication devices/platforms and virtual reality (VR) based monitoring.
Over 60% of the elderly are reported to have embraced technology as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aging in place is encouraged as a result of nursing homes being high-risk zones for Covid-19 spread.
Companionship and health/wellness segments to be the primary beneficiaries. Papa, CarePredict, and Toilabs have updated their products and services to adapt to the pandemic.
The silver economy tech market primarily includes products that enable seniors to age-in-place. This includes three broad segments: 1) products and services promoting Independence, 2) healthcare and wellness related products, and 3) caregiver platforms.
In addition to the three segments above, the industry also includes products for caregivers and medical professionals. Notably, among the disruptors and watchlist companies, nearly half of the companies catered to the independence segment. Nearly two-thirds of the companies identified were in the early stage.
The silver economy industry comprises a vast range of players, with relatively unique offerings, catering to four broad segments. The broad segments indicate the overall goal of the product; however, companies tend to cater to more niche subsegments in the market. Honor, the largest caregiver platform, enables the elderly and their family to find caregiving professionals, and is the highest funded disruptor across all broad segments.
Leading players in the independence segment are the next highest funded disruptors. This includes innovative hearing-aid manufacturer, Eargo, mobility service provider, WHILL, and digital companionship provider, Intuition Robotics.
Eargo specialises in developing hearing aid and related services. Eargo has four products in its lineup: namely, Eargo Max, Eargo Neo HiFi, Eargo 5 and Eargo 6. The company’s products are unique due to its design meant to keep the device invisible when plugged in.
The products are priced between USD 1,850 (Eargo Max) and USD 2,950 (Eargo 6) and as per the company, are around half of the price of the hearing aids provided via traditional channels in the US. The Eargo Neo range comes alongside an app and offers connected smart features such as audio personalization and control. The app allows the user to control the audio to suit their surroundings, customize settings, and contact Eargo's licensed hearing professionals for consultation and support.
The company utilizes a business-to-consumer (B2C) online retail strategy compared to traditional business-to-business (B2B) model deployed by other manufacturers who sell their products through clinics. The strategy has proven beneficial through the Covid-19 pandemic as consumer footfall for brick-and-mortar clinics have declined.
In July 2020, Eargo raised USD 71 million in a Series E funding round led by new investors Gilde Healthcare and Longitude Capital. In October 2020, Eargo listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market in a USD 140 million initial public offering. The company aims to use the new capital to fund sales marketing and expand brand efforts as well as to find R&D activities.
In FY2020, Eargo reported total revenue of USD 69 million, reflecting YoY growth of 111%. The gross margin improved by 16.6 pps to 68%. Gross shipments improved by 68% to around 38,200. Eargo upgraded its FY 2021 revenue guidance in August 2021 to between USD 93-96 million (from USD 89-93 million), implying revenue growth between 35-39%.
Healthcare and wellness:
Incumbents in the healthcare and wellness related products segments mainly comprise of legacy players in home care or emergency response systems extending their product range to smart wearables, which are often developed in-house. Insurance providers such as Generali Global Assistance and Allianz have entered the space offering bundled senior care products to policyholders.
Acquisitions are common in the caregiver platform segment. Brighter, a Swedish health-tech company delivering smart care solutions for chronic diseases expanded into senior care with its acquisition of Nectarine Health for EUR 1.5 million (approximately USD 1.8 million) in January 2020.
US electronic retail giant Best Buy, has been aggressively expanding its solutions in the space primarily through acquisitions. Amazon has entered the space by leveraging its voice-based assisted living technology, Amazon Alexa.
No investor data is available