Exclusive: Florence to launch in Europe, Canada – expands team
Florence, the London-based tech startup that connects vacant care home shifts to local nurses and carers, is expanding in France, Germany and Canada this year, HealthInvestor can reveal. The company also plans to increase its staff – both in the UK and abroad – by about four times to 500 people by the end of 2024.
Speaking to HealthInvestor, Dr Charles Armitage, Florence’s co-founder and managing director, says: “At the moment we operate mostly within social care. We’re going to be expanding into the NHS but also internationally. This year we’re launching in Europe – France and Germany initially – and Canada.”
He adds: “M&A is part of our strategy. We are definitely keeping an eye out for potential opportunities as they arise. Now, the top priority is to grow the team and invest in product development and technology in order to expand our services.”
At least half of Florence’s recent Series B financing (more than £14.25 million) will be used for its expansion plans, according to a Florence spokesperson. As reported by HealthInvestor earlier this month the company raised £28.5 million through a Series B funding round led by Axa Venture Partners, with participation from Roo Capital and existing backers SEEK Investments.
For Dr Armitage, European markets are not well-developed, unlike the US where the space for the synergies between technology and staffing within healthcare is “quite mature”.
Florence picked these three regions for expansion having looked at various factors. “We looked at the size of the market and how much it is projected to grow along with the level of supply shortages in healthcare workers, ” Dr Armitage says. “The company also looked at the different regulatory environments and federal borders around cost and ease of doing business.”
Founded in 2017, Florence has raised a total of £35.5 million to date. It serves more than a quarter of social care in the UK and operates across 99% of the country. Florence’s next financing round will likely be in the next two years, HealthInvestor is told.
Florence’s app connects nurses with open shifts cutting out agency middlemen. The app also provides care organisations with intuitive rota and e-learning tools. To date, 100,000 e-learners, 90,000 care professionals and over 2,000 care organisations have signed up to Florence.