And suddenly it hits you: Diagnosis of nursing care. When this message reached one of the founders of ennie, thoughts began to spin. We always want the best for our families. But that's not always easy. And many people are confronted with this. After some research and bad first experiences with agencies, you face a seemingly impossible challenge. A nursing home doesn’t seem like the right option for many, but home care cannot be done alone. Where can you find empathetic, reliable and affordable 24-hour caregivers on the German market? Very difficult. That’s when the founders of ennie had an idea: a transparent, fair platform for finding the right caregivers.
The start-up ennie was born, in Cologne in July, 2021.
Lack of transparency and high costs
The placement of self-employed care workers (mainly from Eastern Europe to Germany) is traditionally carried out by specialized agencies. Since there are no real standards on the market, there is an enormous lack of transparency with regard to processes and costs. This has negative consequences for caregivers, whose compensation often suffers severely. Manual processes and an enormous administrative effort often lead to a really long process, which is a problem if you consider the immediate need.
The solution: a digital platform
Together, we set up an interdisciplinary team that developed and launched a working MVP within six months. The team consisted of product owners, scrum masters, front and backend developers, UI/UX designers and consultants specializing in the rapid development of digital business models. The biggest challenge was the lack of existing business processes to build upon, as the startup was newly founded. “It was our goal to map all business processes and convert them into technical features. Thanks to fast implementation and continuous adjustments, we were able to put an initial MVP live in a very short time, which could be tested by real users," says Oliver Mayer, Senior Consultant Digital Strategy & Transformation at objective partner. Thanks to the lean startup approach, the necessary functionalities could be developed in a user-centric and agile manner. Six months later, the full-function marketplace for the placement of caregivers was born.
And this is how it works
Based on a marketplace logic, people in need of care, or their relatives, and carers can be found in no time. Both sides create a profile with information about the care situation, the needs and the required/offered services. A search algorithm delivers appropriate results and both parties can get in touch via the integrated messaging function. After clarifying the general conditions, a care contract is concluded in the contract negotiation feature, based on a legally reviewed draft contract. Ultimately, the integrated payment system ensures that caregivers are paid correctly and on time.
A new standard for 24-hour care
The digitization of all processes and the simple and transparent placement enable lower placement costs, better earning opportunities and a more attractive offer. A new standard for home care was brought to life. “Several thousand users from Germany, Poland and Romania have already registered in the first few months. We were able to realize our vision within a very short time, acquire users and record first sales,” says Raphael Wischnewsky, Managing Director of Care24 GmbH.