By Kristy Dorsey

Members of the ESM Investments syndicate based in Stirling have increased their stake in Scottish healthcare provider Time For You (TfY) as it looks to expand beyond Edinburgh.

ESM now controls 11 per cent of the start-up firm’s equity, having led a £550,000 funding round that also included other private investors. It is the second time ESM has backed TfY Care, having led a £350,000 funding round in 2019.

TfY began trading in July 2019 and currently employs 70 people providing in-home care across the Edinburgh Council region. In its latest financial year to the end of March, it provided 100,000 care hours which generated a turnover of £1 million.

The fresh cash will be used to further develop the company’s technology, which uses a software platform and smartphone application to cut down on the cost inefficiencies associated with more traditional healthcare providers. Chief executive Melissa Singh said recording and sharing information about patients’ status and quality checks are typically “very fragmented and repetitive paper-based processes” that divert effort from the primary task of looking after clients.

READ MORE: Time for You Care secures six-figure investment boost

She added that TfY is also working to raise the status of the care sector – which has been under the spotlight since the onset of the pandemic – as a profession offering good career opportunities.

“The healthcare sector is too often characterised by poor pay and conditions and lack of training for carers,” she said. “When we formed the business, we sought to address this by making sure our carers are rewarded well and are passionate about the high-quality care services they provide.

“Our significant investment in technology has enabled us to take out costly inefficient back-office systems and allow our carers to focus more on delivering higher standards of service.”

Ms Singh said TfY will be creating an unspecified number of new jobs in the coming months as the company seeks to expand geographically.

“It depends on a few factors, but we have looked at options both in the east and across the Central Belt as well,” she said.

READ MORE: 'I thought our business was over': Scots tech investor talks about surviving crisis

Set up in 2011 by Steven Morris, ESM is a syndicate of more than 80 private investors that includes technology entrepreneurs, corporate finance and other experts providing early-stage growth capital. To date it has provided more than £13m to young technology-based companies.

“We have been delighted with how well Time For You Care has performed and grown since our initial investment in a high-demand sector where there is a chronic shortage of top-class operatives,” Mr Morris said.

“Time For You Care has a clear strategy, a tremendous team and a core will to address the nationwide care crisis by utilising technology to deliver better and more cost-effective outcomes for those in need of homecare at all levels. This latest funding not only goes towards addressing a great social need, it will also allow Time For You Care to continue to raise the bar in home healthcare services.”

Prior to taking the helm at TfY, Ms Singh was senior commercial director at French IT multinational Atos. A graduate in law from Glasgow University, she has also worked in the public sector as commercial manager of ICT for Edinburgh City Council.

She said she was drawn to the care sector by the appeal of working in a field “with a very well-documented and unmet need” that technology can address.

She added: “This latest fund raising will enable us to significantly expand carer numbers, invest further in technology and expand our reach nationally, both with local councils and the private sector.

“It’s an exciting time for our business and our carers, but more importantly we want to improve the experience and cost-effectiveness for those seeking much-needed homecare services.”