Honor — the technology-driven home care services provider already backed by Andreessen Horowitz — may soon have even more firepower to work with.
A sequel to the world’s largest investment fund focused on technology, SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 is reportedly in talks to invest roughly $150 million in Honor, according to a Thursday report from CNBC. The San Francisco-based home care company has already raised more than $115 million since launching in 2014.
Neither Honor nor Softbank responded to requests for comment from Home Health Care News by time of publication.
Headed by Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son, Tokyo-based SoftBank Group Corp. seemingly has its hands on every major tech startup, though its interests also touch on finance and other areas. Uber (NYSE: UBER) and WeWork, for example, were among the multinational conglomerate holding company’s original Vision Fund investments.
SoftBank ultimately ended up acquiring WeWork in October due to the co-working company’s widely reported financial struggles. Strategically, some pundits have labeled the move as a money pit, placing pressure on SoftBank to strike gold — and fast.
So far, Vision Fund 2 has secured pledges from a variety of investors, including Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and other big names. The mega fund launched with a target of about $108 billion it was hoping to invest, though initial money-raising has reportedly been far quieter.
The Honor investment has yet to be approved by the Vision Fund 2 investment committee, according to CNBC, which noted that none of its investments will be publicly disclosed until the fund concludes fundraising.
“Fundraising is progressing as expected as investors assess potential commitments to Vision Fund 2,” a Vision Fund spokesperson told CNBC. The newsroom said it received its information related to a possible $150 million Honor investment from “people familiar with the matter.”
Although unconfirmed, Thursday’s news adds at the very least another interesting chapter to Honor’s history.
Originally, Honor launched as a company that sought to leverage technology to better connect home care clients to caregivers. Its entrance in the market coincided with that of similar businesses, including HomeHero and HomeTeam.
Today, however, Honor’s business model is built on partnerships with traditional home care agencies — and sometimes even senior living providers with in-home care branches.
Generally, Honor partners in a co-branded fashion with agencies of all shapes and sizes by taking over back-office functions, receiving a share of agency revenue in the process.
“The core opportunity Honor has really seen is that there’s a very high degree of fragmentation in the current home care market, and that does create a lot of challenges for clients to navigate, for [caregivers] to get vested, so we’ve had a very, you know, relatively simple mission — to create a national platform to address a lot of those issues that fragmentation has created,” President Nita Sommers previously told HHCN. “As we were thinking about how to do that — sort of build a national presence quickly — this idea of the Honor Care Network started to emerge.”
While Honor is bullish on its revamp, others in the home care industry have raised concerns about the different direction.
Currently, Honor says its services are available across more than 800 cities and towns in six states.
Honor — which has around 300 employees — most recently announced an expansion into Ohio and Michigan in November.
TheraCare, Indecare and Cypress HomeCare Solutions are among Honor’s growing list of partners. Others include Bridgewater Senior Home Care, Help Unlimited, 4Ever Young Living and Live Well at Home by Eskaton.
“Our biggest struggle was finding and retaining enough quality caregivers to keep up with increasing demand,” Molly Koenig, owner of Bridgewater Senior Home Care, said in an announcement. “I’m always looking for new ways of thinking and doing things.”
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