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Daily Markup #623: Gillian Tee shares 4 tips that led Homage to over 1M caregiving hours and a US$100M+ valuation

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: AIC

Doing well while doing good

  • “Let’s say you fell and broke your hip, the medical part is quite clear. You can go to a public hospital or private hospital,” Co-founder & CEO of 500-backed on-demand healthcare company Gillian Tee said.
  • “But what happens when you need to come home, when you need to transition back to your community and your home, what is the care plan?” she asked.
  • She decided to provide the solution to that question by founding Homage, a company that matches patients who need long-term home care with qualified caregivers. Since then, the company has raised US$45M, and according to Gillian, Homage is now valued at more than US$100M.
  • To date, Homage has provided over 1 million caregiving hours, with a team of 15,000 care professionals across three markets: Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. She shares 4 tips that led to the company’s success.
  • Know your market. Whether you’re building a travel app or a healthcare app, Gillian said the business fundamentals never change. “Focus is everything. We do have a very clear view of what the markets are, if we should expand to more [countries]. But right now the current focus is on deepening our current markets,” she explained.
  • Build a good team. Did you know that Gillian has no prior experience in the healthcare industry? That’s why she believes that entrepreneurs should “anchor first on people”. She added, “A big part of what we do is we need to synthesize care quality with the product and technology. That’s the team you need to build — I try to do the best I can, but I bring on people who are much better than me.”
  • Focus on the ’100 good things’. Gillian shared that being an entrepreneur can be isolating, especially if you are a woman. “I have to be twice as assertive, more data-driven, and be super sharp. There are 100 problems, but there are also 100 good things. You got to really tune out the noise and be okay going through that intensity,” she said.
  • Innovation drives impact. “The mission of Homage is so near and dear to me. At the end of the day, there’s nothing better than building something that people can get a solution out of,” Gillian shared. “Building an app that can mobilize people and then scaling that as a sustainable business — that drives me. It’s doing good, while doing well.”
  • Read the full interview on CNBC.

Ching Yee Ho