The population continues to age at a rapid pace. In fact, one-fifth of Europe’s population is currently over 65, and this will be one quarter by 2040. Older adults deserve all the care they require for a full and happy life, not only today but also tomorrow. An ageing population puts our society to the test. This is a tough assignment for a healthcare system already suffering from severe financial pressure and an acute shortage of healthcare personnel.
Technology for a long and happy life
Nobi believes that innovative technologies will therefore play an increasingly important role in the lives of older adults. Based on its mission to help the elderly live happily, independently and with dignity for as long as possible, Nobi develops technological innovations that assist people and society in the challenges of an ageing population both today and tomorrow. Nobi is already doing this with its smart lamp, which focuses on fall detection, fall prevention and safety.* In the coming years, Nobi will evolve into a tech company for the elderly with a range of products and services that will help people live happily, independently and with dignity for as long as possible in the location of their choice.
Nobi 2021: a retrospective
Nobi’s market promise seemed to catch on in 2021. The company started collaborations with large and small Belgian and international healthcare companies. These include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, community care, convalescent homes and organisations for children with disabilities. Nobi lamps are used to support (often busy) healthcare personnel so that they can devote all their time and energy to providing even better quality care for their residents or patients. Nobi also opened its first foreign offices in the Netherlands (Eindhoven), Austria (Vienna) and the United States (New York) in 2021. Nobi’s design was also honoured in 2021. We received two gold awards in the ‘Consumer’ and ‘Business Innovation’ categories of the prestigious ‘Henry van de Velde Awards’. Shortly afterwards, Nobi received a German Design Award.
Looking to the future
The EUR 13 million of new capital will be used to develop long-term collaborations with assisted living centres, service flats and hospitals worldwide, and launch Nobi in people’s homes. Nobi will also be investing in the redesign of its first-generation lamps. Despite rising raw material prices, the company aspires to develop a lower-cost lamp to help as many people as possible. To achieve all this nationally and internationally, team Nobi will grow from 10 to more than 40 employees by the end of 2022.
Roeland Pelgrims, co-CEO of Nobi: “Saving lives and safeguarding quality years of life has been our driving force since the establishment of Nobi. In the event of a serious fall, every minute counts. The faster people are helped, the more time they can gain in life. We know that 20% of all older adults brought into the emergency room have lied on the floor for more than an hour. Within this group, mortality rises to 50% within six months of the fall. Thus, the first 30 falls that Nobi was able to detect this year had a great emotional and symbolic value for team Nobi. These 30 people were immediately helped by the nursing staff because their assisted living centre had Nobi. In each case, these interventions saved several years of life. That’s why we do it!”
Didier Beauvois, Head of Corporate Banking & Member of the Executive Board of BNP Paribas Fortis: “This investment underlines our mission to support innovative companies with a positive social impact. Together with the reputable investment consortium, we are happy to support the further expansion of Nobi to meet one of the greatest challenges in our society in the coming years.”
Rudy Dekeyser, managing partner LSP Health Economics Fund 2: “Thanks to Nobi’s unique technology for fall detection and fall prevention, it already offers a great deal of added value. However, the intelligent lamp can do so much more. Integrated communication technology makes it possible to develop attractive applications that, among other things, help prevent illnesses, monitor therapies and, above all, contribute to the wellbeing of the elderly. With our investment, we also want to unleash that potential.”
Philip Scheltens, managing partner at LSP Dementia Fund: Of all the older adults, those with any stage dementia have the highest risk of falling. Falls often end in hospitalisation and subsequently more rapid deterioration. They should therefore be avoided whenever possible. In nursing homes, the risk of falling puts a lot of pressure on the already limited workforce. This is why the LSP Dementia Fund considers the investment in Nobi of great social value.”
Tine Bekaert, investment manager at PMV: “At present, the expenditures on prevention within the health care system in our country are below the European average, while it is a necessity to put all our efforts into this in order to keep our system affordable. Based on the conviction that new technologies can make a strong contribution to the transition from primarily curative to more preventive medicine and healthcare in general, PMV is very happy to put our financial backing behind a company that shares this conviction in its long-term strategy.”
Nobi’s second injection of capital was supervised by Joris Noreillie of CFOrent, with Portelio as a legal partner. In addition to the new investors, Nobi would also like to thank its initial shareholders who are investing again, as well as VLAIO, which made the development of the lamp possible with half a million euros of support at the start.