TechMarketView have been running their Little British Battler programme since 2011.
The aim is to give the selected Little British Battlers the opportunity to get on the radar by presenting their products and services, and successes and aspirations, to the TechMarketView team. In exchange TechMarketView gives the LBBs feedback on their businesses, along with ‘airtime’ on UKHotViews and visibility among the TechMarketView client base, the cast of which reads like the Who’s Who of the UK software and IT services (SITS) marketplace. Not to put too fine a point on it, this is market exposure that money simply can’t buy!
Alcove was selected at the event held in April 2016 in partnership with the sponsors, technology merchant bank MXC Capital. And this is what they wrote:
Company overview – Alcove (TMV View)
Market proposition & strategy
Alcove is a Little British Battler in the true sense of the term, a start-up punching above its weight that promises to disrupt an established market in some style. Alcove provides an Internet-of-Things (IoT) powered ‘telecare’ system that supports independent living by combining real-time data from wireless sensors with that from other in-home and wearable consumer devices, such as a smart watch that acts as a panic alarm and a tablet that can be used for video calls.
Under the strapline “Growing old disgracefully”, the SME is dragging telecare into the digital age. It has a software-led approach, adapting, integrating and aggregating the best consumer hardware and developing its own bespoke software wrapper. Data is analysed and displayed simply in a web-based application and used to send real-time personalized alerts to help keep older and disabled adults living independently in their own homes and out of residential care.
Target Markets &Positioning
Alcove is targeting the UK B2B telecare market, selling to local authorities, housing associations and domiciliary care providers as well as outsourcers serving those markets. The LBB is aiming to disrupt the established telecare market, which is characterised by obtrusive panic alarms with big red buttons from incumbents such as Tunstall, and pioneer independent living. The team is passionate about replacing hard-wired pull cords and pendant alarms with a data-driven service that enables preventative care and saves care and support providers money.
Given the pressures that the UK adult social care and domiciliary care markets are currently facing, Alcove’s proposition ought to be a ‘no-brainer’ for care providers. By improving efficiency and reducing manpower using the system, customers have the potential to save millions of pounds. Indeed, Alcove’s early success with big name clients like East Thames, Capita, Peterborough and Sheffield City Councils bodes well for the business case and future sales.
For the time being, Alcove is sensibly focused on B2B telecare, rather than either B2C telecare or telehealth. Targeting B2C telecare would require too much cash and Alcove believes telehealth has yet to mature as a market—the devices aren’t quite there yet and medical regulation presents too much of a challenge. Moreover, Alcove has more than enough to keep it busy in its current target market—it’s not short of opportunities.
It’s early days for Alcove financially as the business was only founded in 2014 and was ready to make its first sale in Q4 2015. The initial signs are good though. Alcove is growing rapidly and some 50% of revenue is currently recurring.
Objectives & Strategy
Alcove’s young co-founders are driven by being able to make a difference to people—their system saved a life within weeks of going live—and make a profit. They want to maintain control of the business but as with all SMEs also need to ensure sufficient working capital. Alcove may consider an IPO in order to raise additional capital or, more likely, find itself acquired by a SITS company that is hoping to profit from the evolving UK telecare market. In the meantime, Alcove will be developing its offering further and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it developing a data analytics capability, perhaps to enable dynamic care planning, or integrating with other social care applications.
So all in all lots of nice things to write home about. We were particularly flattered at being described as young (the botox is clearly working) and charismatic (well all this hard work has to be fun). Flattery will get you everywhere TMV. We do try to practice what we preach and you’re always welcome to join us. #GrowOldDisgracefully – NOW THAT’S AN ORDER!
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