We are excited to announce that Matchstick Ventures Fund II completed an investment in Onward (onwardrides.com). Onward is a marketplace of services to help seniors age-in-place, starting with transportation services.
Over the next decade millions of baby boomers will start to require services as they age. And, even more than prior generations, they will prefer to age-in-place (in their homes) which will create big opportunities for on-demand services to come to them. Due to the transient nature of jobs and society, the children and grandchildren of these adults will more-often-than-not live in a different city or state than their aging parents. It’s our belief that the combination of these trends will create demand for a tech enabled marketplace of services for seniors who are aging in place. This will allow children and grandchildren of seniors to book, and track remotely, high quality care for their loved ones.
Onward’s vision is to enable these adults to age with independence, dignity and a higher quality of life. The first step towards this vision is offering high-touch, safe transportation to older adults to allow them to engage in grocery, social, health or religious travel.
The transportation service needs of senior adults are different than what existing on-demand transportation providers now meet. Seniors need drivers who will not only pick them up and drop them at their destinations, but also help them in and out of the vehicle; potentially collapse, store and rebuild walkers and wheelchairs; assist clients from the car to the curb and into their destination; and wait while the senior is at their destination.
Onward started in 2018 from the first hand experiences of the founders as many of their loved ones aged. Mike Lewis and Nader Akhnoukh found it was hard to care for aging family members while not being in the same location. Mike and Nadar are deeply passionate about these problems and you won’t find two more capable leaders.
Mike spent the last 4 years at Airbnb where he started the Airbnb for Work product in 2015 and grew it to be 10% of Airbnb’s business. He also was Head of Product for the Airbnb Lux business unit from 2017 to 2019. Prior to Airbnb, Mike co-founded Kapost with Nader, a market leading content marketing platform, which grew from 0 to $17m in revenue and was just acquired.
Nader has founded two successful companies. The first, Tamale Software, was software for hedge funds that was acquired by Advent in 2008. The second was Kapost, which he co-founded with Mike in 2009. He served as a board member and CTO at Kapost until 2018. Both Nader and Mike have Computer Science degrees from Dartmouth College.
We’ve known Mike and Nader for almost 10 years and have watched them build meaningful products and teams. They know startups/business, marketplaces and technology as well as anyone. We’re thrilled that when they decided to start this company, they came to us and asked to work together.
Founders: Mike Lewis, Nader Akhnoukh
HQ: San Francisco & Boulder