BelleVie Care raises £2.1m in seed funding and grants to boost award-winning, Dutch-inspired care model across the UK

Posted on: 09/12/2022

Innovative, tech-enabled UK care provider receives £1.6m seed funding to scale team-based home care model.

BelleVie Care, an innovative home care provider working to modernise and improve adult home care across the North East and Thames Valley regions, is proud to announce that it has received £2.1m in its latest seed and grant funding round from a group of ambitious, purpose-led investors who share its mission.

BelleVie’s Wellbeing Support Teams provide high-quality, award-winning care across Northumberland and Oxfordshire with the startup company expanding its operations into Tyne-and-wear, County Durham and Buckinghamshire.

The £1.6m seed funding round, led by Skagen Conscience Capital, will enable the company to scale up its home care network across the regions. Also providing their backing to this seed round are north east-focused investment fund Northstar Ventures, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Treebeard Trust.

This investment has also unlocked a further £550,000 in grant funding from UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK, the government body supporting business-led innovation across sectors and regions. This brings the total received this funding round to £2.15m, and the total the company has raised so far to £3.4m.

 

How does BelleVie Care work?

BelleVie’s services, which are rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission, support older people to thrive at home by deploying innovative ways of working inspired by the successful Dutch ‘Buurtzorg’ model. This centres around an approach pioneered in the Netherlands, which sees 10-person self-managing teams serve their local community, providing continuity of care and building trusted relationships. This model gives Wellbeing Support Workers more time to provide meaningful care and support to their clients.

The company’s care operations, which are funded via a unique monthly subscription model, are rated 9.6/10 by independently verified reviews website homecare.co.uk.

It’s clear that the current, low value ‘time-and-task’ model of providing care via underpaid, undervalued contract workers is failing the very people it is supposed to support.

BelleVie’s founders, Trudie Fell and Violaine Pierre, were inspired to create a new type of homecare provider to address the large, growing and crucially, unmet demand for quality care across the UK, underpinned by new ways of working and intelligent digital tools to manage demand, schedule care and provide those receiving care with a wide range of products and services via a unique ‘Wellbeing Operating System’.

This cloud-based platform ensures BelleVie’s care teams can rapidly adapt to uncertainties in demand or supply. As the provider deepens its geographic footprint, the Wellbeing OS platform’s learning algorithms identify new ‘micro-strategies’ which can then be replicated across its entire network.

 

Valued staff at the heart of the care model

The vast majority of BelleVie’s team members are paid employees, rather than zero-hours contractors, and the company is proud to be an accredited Living Wage Employer. BelleVie recruits people based on their values rather than their previous experience. With the majority of its employees coming from a non-care background, its excellent onboarding and training, and a 66% employee Net Promoter Score (NPS), BelleVie is proving that it can solve the recruitment and retention problems at the heart of the care crisis.

Teams flex as the needs of those they support change, using bespoke rostering tools to rapidly adapt. The unique insights gained by its teams on the ground are enabling it to build a managed marketplace of third-party products and services, providing whatever people need to live their best lives at home.

 

Future roadmap

At the heart of its mission to support as many older people as possible to thrive at home, BelleVie Care has a roadmap into 2024 to scale its care networks and further improve the technology that powers its services.

These include intelligent rotas, colleague development and client wellbeing tools and the development of its ‘Thriving at home’ marketplace of third-party products and services for older people.

 

What do BelleVie Care and its investors say?

Commenting on the latest funding round, BelleVie co-founder and CEO Trudie Fell said: “We’re thrilled to have the backing of a great group of impact investors; their belief in us is great validation of our model. This investment means we can accelerate our mission to reinvent the future of work in care, creating more fulfilling careers in care, and supporting more people to thrive at home; all of which addresses one of society’s most pressing challenges.”

Jack Goldstein, Investment Director of Skagen Conscience Capital, said: “We are incredibly proud to empower BelleVie Care in their goal to support older people to thrive at home. The way adult home care is currently delivered in the UK requires fixing, and BelleVie’s multi-award winning operating model and technology platform will do just that.”

Alasdair Greig, Director at Northstar Ventures, said: “We are thrilled to be supporting a company that has such a novel and disruptive approach to solving the care crisis, one of our most intractable societal challenges. The BelleVie model drives dramatic improvement in the lives of both care workers and the people they support, and we look forward to seeing it scaled rapidly across the UK.”

Denise Holle, Head of Social Investment at Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “Through its social investment in BelleVie, Joseph Rowntree Foundation is furthering its mission to inspire social change and address the root causes of poverty and economic insecurity. BelleVie is reinventing the delivery and business model for home care in the UK. It has put carers and clients at the heart of its model and is using technology to enable, rather than replace, more and better human interactions. BelleVie is also an accredited Living Wage Employer, and this is another important aspect of its operating model which JRF is delighted to be supporting.”

Helen Crampin, Innovation and Technology Lead, UKRI Healthy Ageing Challenge, said: “We’re pleased to support this innovative model in the care sector, from our Innovate UK funding partnership with Northstar Ventures. We aim to work with partners to support businesses that are focused on helping people to remain active, productive, independent and socially connected across the generations. Developing new models of care that lead to benefits for both carers and older people is an important issue for the future.”

ENDS

 

About BelleVie Care

We give peace of mind to families who have previously struggled to find quality, reliable support. Most importantly we support our ageing population as people, looking out for their whole well-being and supporting them to thrive.

The current “time-and-task” model leaves those being supported feeling like items on a tick list, not human beings, and results in 1,100 care workers leaving the sector every day. Our model has been proven to create fulfilling, meaningful careers in care. We are reinventing the future of work in care.

We are more than “just” care. We do whatever you need to thrive at home. We work with partners to provide products and services which support people to live independent, fulfilling lives at home. The unique insights from our Wellbeing Support Workers match people to services which meet their needs and aspirations.

BelleVie’s model is enabled and scaled by our bespoke ‘Wellbeing OS’ technology platform; the first English language platform specifically built for a model of self-managing care teams.

We have grown rapidly since launching in 2019, and our goal is national coverage. Regional “Circles” of self-managing teams recruit locally, and support locally, building a real sense of community, but in a model which is being replicated in different geographies. Our care is funded by a unique monthly subscription model, in a shift away from the traditional “time-and-task” hourly rates. Support packages are paid for by Local Authorities, the NHS or privately by families themselves. The same high quality care is provided irrespective of who pays – important to our commitment to democratise access to quality support.

We are proud of achieving a Net Promoter Score of 95%.

Hear from the people that BelleVie Care supports

 

About the Buurtzorg model

The Buurtzorg model was developed by a social enterprise of the same name in the Netherlands in 2006. It involves small teams of nursing staff providing a range of personal, social and clinical care to service users in their own homes within defined neighbourhoods.

The model emphasises the need for employees to operate in non-hierarchical self-managed teams of up to 12 people. The relationships between the nurses, patients and the patients’ informal carers are very strong – enabling greater social interactions and improving quality of life for all involved.

In the Netherlands, part of Buurtzorg’s success is down to the IT systems enabling the teams to work effectively, alongside strong online peer support and coaching.

 

About BelleVie’s founders

BelleVie’s chief executive and co-founder Trudie Fell has over 15 years of experience in IT, initially as a full-stack software engineer, moving on to lead successful multi-million pound programmes. She’s passionate about empowering self-managing teams through agile transformations.

Trudie experienced the reward of care work while supporting her studies, and is now applying her business and technical skills to transform care.

Chief operating officer and co-founder Violaine Pierre honed her operational and financial management skills at the World Bank, UNICEF, and by co-founding a travel startup in New York.

She’s experienced in managing $1m+ budgets, financial forecasting, marketing and business development and has a passion for building thriving work environments and for fair employment.

Wellbeing Support Leaders Emma Pithers and Catherine Corner lead our Thames Valley and North East Regions respectively. They bring decades of experience in regulated support work and are passionate about empowering teams through self-management and putting people back at the heart of care.

 

Editor’s notes

BelleVie Care chief executive Dr Trudie Fell is available to discuss the company’s vision, performance and to offer detailed commentary on the state of adult social and home care in England. 

If you would like to speak to Trudie, please don’t hesitate to contact BelleVie Care’s marketing lead Rachel Gregan on: 07706 295 739 or via email at Rachel.gregan@Belleviecare.co.uk

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