Investment notes: Umps Health

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Max Meyer
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We are thrilled to announce that we have invested in the seed round of Umps Health alongside Tattarang and Umps’ existing investors. Umps have set out to develop an industry-leading platform that provides exceptional Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) and tech-enabled aged care services.

Combining unparalleled hardware and data-driven software, the Umps smart home platform supports older Australians to remain safe, well and independent for longer. 

Umps amalgamates all the ingredients that get us excited about high-growth technology businesses: founder brilliance, a unique product, enormous timing tailwinds, a global scalable offering and a product that serves to build a better tomorrow.

Founders First

Adam Jahnke and Geoff Ayre are accomplished operators spanning aged care, product and engineering. They are a truly dynamic duo with complementary skill sets. Adam has worked in operational roles at Ericsson and Cochlear as well as being the EIR at the Melbourne Accelerator Program. Whilst Geoff has a deep understanding of engineering and worked at Tekt Industries.

Their shared learnings through these past roles and personal experiences led them to the realisation that there was room for disruption in tech-enabled aged care services. Together they truly embody Sprint’s ‘founders first’ motto and are the right team to solve the problem.

The Aged Care Thematic

Sprint has a deep focus on the aged-care thematic and Umps represents Sprint’s second investment in aged care. The first being aged-care communication platform, Hayylo

Historically, the sector has been technologically underserved with many outdated and manual processes. Notwithstanding this, the aged care sector receives enormous levels of government funding and the number of Australians aged over 65 is expected to increase to over 5.18 million people by 2027.

Umps sit at the cross-section of these forces and are perfectly poised to ride the tailwinds of a sector ripe for technology disruption. Whilst Umps has a compelling business model, they also serve to build a better tomorrow for future generations by enhancing the lives of many older Australians – enabling them to stay at home for longer.

A Product That Changes The Game

Umps combine stylish and non-intrusive hardware with predictive software to enable insights to be taken from casual usage patterns.

Specifically, Umps uses non-intrusive devices, namely the Protect Pendant and Protect Smart Plugs (set and forget plugs to major appliances) to monitor behaviour and relay information to the Protect Hub.

Over one-week, the Protect Hub learns a user’s standard behaviour to ascertain any abnormalities in an individual’s behaviour. For example, the below diagram illustrates the successful application of the platform for an elderly woman who fell ill.

“What is so terrific about Umps is that it doesn’t require any participation from its user. She doesn’t have to wear any gadget, make any phone calls or press any sort of alarm button”.

Hardware is hard – literally and commercially. For that reason, Sprint typically steers away from hardware. However, Sprint makes exceptions for the exceptional.

We backed Umps’ hardware for two core reasons. Umps are superior to legacy providers due to their subtle and fashionable appearance as well as its network connectivity. On the other hand, Umps is a less intrusive and more affordable offering than the saturated wearables market. The hardware does not require expensive 3rd party hardware, such as a watch.

The product offering has a broad scalable application beyond the delivery of PERS services. Going forward, Umps will be able to offer aged care providers and government the ability to ‘switch on’ wellbeing monitoring services without significant upfront expense. To enable this, the Umps Protect Hardware has been future-proofed with communications technologies to allow easy integration with Umps peripherals, as well as third-party devices to enable ‘hospital-in-the-home’ type applications.

Timing Tailwinds – The Time Is Now

Over the next 3 years, millions of PERS devices across the world that operate on 2G and 3G networks will be replaced as network providers phase out these networks. Presently, the majority of PERS systems use these outdated networks without connectivity to cloud platforms. This prevents legacy PERS providers from undertaking sophisticated device management or delivering value-added wellbeing management services. 

The transition away from 3G networks will necessitate major upgrades to existing personal response technologies. Umps are well positioned to capitalise on this transition as the team has been out hustling legacy providers to create a platform that is 4G and 5G compatible, certified, and cloud-connected.

Further tailwinds are derived from State Governments’ initiative to fully fund tens of thousands of PERS units to elderly Australians. 

In our opinion, over the next 5 years, technology-enabled aged care services will become mainstream. We believe that PERS will be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ and facilitates technology disruption in the broader aged care sector. If a company can take the lions’ share of this market with a PERS offering, it will subsequently be able to seamlessly offer wellbeing management services at a very low cost. PERS is also a global offering, with nearly every developed country offering PERS technology as part of its social care system.

If you are as excited by the Umps mission as we are, learn more about them and follow along here

Would you like to know more about the Umps platform for a friend or loved one? Purchase here.

They are also hiring for a bunch of roles, so take a look here if you are interested in becoming part of the team.