July 5, 2021
In this months entrepreneur interview, we chat to Lisa Robinson, Founder of companiions, a befriending network that brings together people who need a little help or companionship. The conception of companiions is timely as people of all ages are struggling with loneliness and the COVID pandemic has only increased the need for companionship. In this entrepreneur interview Lisa sheds some light on how companiions came about, how it is evolving, as well as shares her hopes for the future of the business.
I spent the last 20 years working in advertising and media. My last role was Head of Advertising for Amazon UK.
Following a skiing accident in 2016 I was unable to walk for a few months. I needed somebody to help me make lunch and help with chores and other bits around the house. I found that the only options were babysitters or carers for the elderly. These options are also super expensive and inconvenient to organise with lots of unnecessary paperwork and no easy way to source and pay people. Fast forward to 2019, a friend was trying to organise care for her father and I saw the struggle she went through to find affordable, convenient and easy to arrange companionship. I started to do some research and identified an unmet market of people who need help or companionship and people who want to help and get paid. This sparked the idea of companiions, and so I decided to use my marketing and tech background to help solve the problem.
Finding funding in COVID times has been tough as it has prevented us from delivering revenue versus our KPI’s as we weren’t advising companions to accept visits for the past 6 months in order to avoid worst case scenarios. Luckily, we had good investors who have supported us and we are already seeing visits booked and revenue streaming in now that we are coming out of lockdown.
There are currently no competitors in this space. There are loads of care agencies and charities which help elderly people but there is no business using technology to make finding companionship, whether for yourself or a loved one, a seamless experience. companiions enables organisers to register, build their profile and book a companion. They use companiions to make good decisions on behalf of their loved ones by using tools like video calling, ratings, reviews and key requirements to find the right person for their loved one and then pay seamlessly through the app.
companiions is trademarked in five countries in line with our mission of bringing companionship to every community. We will scale in the UK, driving revenue from our five business streams; the B2C app, employment benefit scheme partners, advertising and data, white label solution and international expansion to drive our mission.
Confidence and Resilience
I’ve loved every role I’ve ever had, especially my Amazon role where I learnt so much. I feel I’ve been pretty lucky to have worked and learnt from such incredible leaders. There is lots more I would like to do but so far I feel pretty fortunate.
Find your WHY and WHAT because when the going gets tough you’ll need to remind yourself of why you started and what your goals are and in what time frame to stay on track.
Entrepreneur Interview Rapid Fire Questions:
We love chatting to business owners that are thinking about either fundraising or selling their business, we would be delighted to arrange an informal meeting (over Zoom or Teams) to discuss your options in more detail.
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