Bridge Image credit pixabay/Larisa-KAutumna has announced that it has achieved huge revenue growth over the last two years. Founded in 2019, the company achieved revenues of £419,000 in 2021, £902,000 in 2022 and £1.38 million in 2023. The amount equates to a rise of 230% over the last two years.

Founded by Managing Director Debbie Harris, the company is now looking to expand further and drive more change in the social care sector. The company has grown rapidly and already employs twenty-two people.

Harris founded Autumna when she identified the need for an unbiased way of finding the right care provider. Harris first identified the need for a service to assist people with finding care homes when she attempted to find one for her Aunt. Subsequently, in 2009, she founded Chosen with Care, a consultancy that offers a bespoke search service for self-funded families. Chosen with Care never took referral fees from care homes, keeping it fully independent.

Debbie Harris, Founder and Managing Director, Autumna (image credit - LinkedIn / Debbie Harris)
Debbie Harris, Founder and Managing Director, Autumna

As the Chosen with Care team expanded, she realized that the data they collected could serve a wider audience if brought online. It would also provide a commercial service for care homes to enhance their listings.

Debbie said, “Our continued expansion is largely due to our growing reputation as the UK’s most detailed independent directory with more than 26,000 care and retirement living providers. This is free to use, and unlike some other directories, we do not take referral fees, meaning our service is unbiased, transparent and trustworthy.”

Autumna meets a growing need

Aptly named, Autumna assists those seeking help locating and matching the right nursing, care or living providers for their elderly relatives. There is an aging population in the UK, according to the latest census, the percentage of people over the age of 50 grew from 32% in 1981 to 38% in 2021. By 2021, there were at least 21 million people in that age bracket. That number is set to rise even further.

Savills estimated in 2023 that an additional 144,000 care home beds would be needed within the next ten years. There are only around 30,000 in the pipeline for 2032, 66% of which are planned in the South East.

Autumna aimed to provide a free and honest information service for those looking. The listing service includes care homes, home care, live-in Care and retirement living developments.

It enables any care provider to have a free listing but charges for premium listings, which promote locations and provide other benefits but do not bias the reviews or statistics. Autumna provides a truly independent service that is needed now. It also aims to provide a transparent marketplace and improve standards across the care sector.

Families are prompted to answer a set of guided questions that evaluate the needs and match people with the right solution. They are provided with a shortlist of care providers that match those requirements. Autumna helps over 3,000 people every month and has a 75% placement rate.

Autumna is looking to increase its employee count further after a recent spree. Harris commented, “Our growth has been delivered by recruiting and retaining a fantastic team, and we are the only directory that help care seekers seven days a week.”

Autumna already offers several free services around care advice, and promises to deliver more. Its directory listing includes unique accreditations such as:

  • Choice Dining, the first food-focused accreditation for the care sector.
  • S.A.F.E. (Safety Assurance For Everyone) assesses and recognises establishments with high levels of infection control.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Many people will have experienced difficulty matching a care solution to the needs of their older relatives. Autumna has created a platform and ecosystem that appears free to those who need it, but it has found a business model that works for the burgeoning industry.

Autuman has some partnerships with other organisations with free advice lines. It does not have commercial partnerships with the NHS or other hospitals yet. Hospitals are sometimes struggling to find a care home to free up beds. They are often not in a convenient location for relatives. It will be interesting to see how the company plans on enhancing its platform and whether it adds additional partnerships.

The announcement, rare for a startup may also signal that Autumna is seeking funding to accelerate its growth. It seems to have a solid business model, a clear vision and mission and a platform that is growing.

Regardless, Harris is on a mission, and this announcement should help move the needle.

“My mission is to get people talking about care; we need to plan, we need to think ahead” – Debbie Harris


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