Excited to announce our investment alongside General Catalyst, Resolute, Canaan and The Fund in the $7M seed of Hank, which helps provide events and community for adults 55+ (coverage on TechCrunch). Tau Ventures is an AI-first fund in Silicon Valley investing primarily in mature seed, typically when there is a pipeline of customers, but we occasionally take earlier or later bets when we see immense promise. Hank originally fell on that first exception, having been founded at the end of 2020. It impressed us with (1) addressing a strong need, (2) building an execution-focused team, and (3) creating a differentiated product.
1) The Need
Aging population is a worldwide trend, the US is very much included. Immigration is the major reason the US population is graying a bit slower than almost all developed countries but even then, the Census estimates the number of adults will surpass that of children in 2035 for the first time in history. And if current trends hold, the number of Americans ages 65 and older will more than double over the next 40 years, reaching 80 million in 2040. Indeed by 2040, about one in five Americans will be age 65 or older, up from about one in eight in 2000. Seniors also incur disproportionately healthcare costs, in fact as much as 50% of all health dollars in the US is spent in the last two years of life.
Though the pandemic has highlighted intrinsic human needs for social interactions, the problem of social isolation in elderly populations has largely been overlooked long before and continues to be an unfulfilled space. Needless to say, this massive demographic shift creates huge challenges/opportunities and where Hank is playing. We see the bigger challenge being the go to market which in Hank’s case is based on easiness and usefulness as well as its ability to continue gaining traction and upkeep its user base.
2) The Team
The two cofounders are friends since middle school who started their previous company Trove together, which was sold into ClassPass. CEO Brian Park previously held product roles at Codecademy and Zynga, and is a Wharton grad in Econ, Mgmt Sci, Entrepreneurship & Innov. Head of Product, Andrew Hong, previously held design roles at Lumi, MLB and 1stdibs, and studied Neuroscience in Pomona.
3) The Product
Hank’s platform seeks to help older members (55 + years) of today’s society reconnect and once again find communities to be a part of. The platform dispels common claims that older generations are less technologically savvy and designs an interface made specifically for its audience, keeping in mind their target population had adapted through massive iterations of technology of analog devices and the evolution of smart technology that is abundant today. Their go to market plan relies on paid channels to establish a strong enough original user base in order to grow communities organically in the future.
We are honored and excited to be part of Hank’s journey, using technology to solve a big problem. More at http://www.gethank.com.
Thanks to Sharon Huang for helping with this article. Originally published on “Data Driven Investor,” am happy to syndicate on other platforms. I am the Managing Partner and Cofounder of Tau Ventures with 20 years in Silicon Valley across corporates, own startup, and VC funds. These are purposely short articles focused on practical insights (I call it gl;dr — good length; did read). Many of my writings are at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amgarg/detail/recent-activity/posts and I would be stoked if they get people interested enough in a topic to explore in further depth. If this article had useful insights for you, comment away and/or give a like on the article and on the Tau Ventures’ LinkedIn page, with due thanks for supporting our work. All opinions expressed here are my own.