INVESTING IN TECHNOLOGY FOR THE ELDERLY
“We need to adopt new and innovative solutions to address the aging population and the pressure it is placing on resources in our welfare society. Today’s welfare services for the elderly are largely about providing care or helping people to become active again through care. Motitech’s solution helps the elderly to become active themselves and does not require care homes or day centres to employ more staff. We see great potential for its solution to be scaled up”, comments Katinka Greve Leiner, Director of Ferd Social Entrepreneurs (Ferd SE).
A good match in terms of values
Having achieved robust results in the Norwegian market, Motitech needed capital to scale up for new markets. However, finding an investor that was a good match in terms of its profile and values was important to its founder, Jon Ingar Kjenes.
“We got to know Ferd SE when we were crowned Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. We quickly saw that we both shared the vision of scaling up the solution’s social impact. In addition to capital, Ferd SE will contribute important expertise, both in terms of professionalising the company and scaling up for new markets”, comments Jon Ingar Kjenes, the CEO of Motitech.
Partner for scaling up
Ferd Social Entrepreneurs supports social entrepreneurs with a combination of capital, expertise and its network. It has now taken a 20% ownership interest in Motitech.
“Motitech has clear social targets and a commercial business model. The changes we see in Motiview cyclists are incredibly moving and really something to invest in! We are providing capital to help the company scale up, and we will also connect the company with our network and people at Ferd where appropriate. We are now also represented on the company’s board of directors, and will be helping it to build robust structures and governance systems”, comments Katinka Greve Leiner.
Motitech already has 300 customers across the Nordic region, Canada and England, with a repeat custom rate of 95%. The company set up a subsidiary company in England in 2018 and is planning to set up in Canada. The plan going forward is to develop a robust strategy with Ferd Social Entrepreneurs for scaling up in other markets. The company is also working with research partners on documenting Motiview’s effects in the elderly.
“We have spent time building relationships with research groups and are already involved in a research project in Canada and a trial project in England. The results of these projects will be important to our work to scale up”, comments Jon Ingar Kjenes.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge tried Motiview at Mesh in February 2018
The Road Worlds for Seniors
The Road Worlds for Seniors will be a major and important focus for Motitech going forward. The aim is to make this activity into the biggest sports event in the world.
“This year, we arranged the Road Worlds for Seniors for a second year in a row. More than 2,500 elderly people from six countries cycled over 52,000 km in four weeks. It gives the elderly a chance to be part of a team activity that has a social dimension, not to mention the health benefits enjoyed by each individual”, concludes Jon Ingar Kjenes.
Motitech has been recognised as a gazelle company by Norwegian business daily Dagens Næringsliv, which each year produces a list of Norway’s “gazelle”, i.e. fastest-growing, companies.
Text: ANNIKEN GRUNDT