3rings start-up wins investment from health insurer for technology rollout

Steve Purdham (3rings) and David Capper (Westfield Health) with 3rings plug outside Westfield Health in Sheffield
Steve Purdham (3rings) and David Capper (Westfield Health) with 3rings plug outside Westfield Health in Sheffield
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An established health insurer from Yorkshire is backing a tech entrepreneur’s start-up aiming to help families with older relatives at home.

Sheffield-based Westfield Health has invested in 3rings, a care tech start-up showcased by serial entrepreneur Steve Purdham on the BBC TV show Dragons’ Den.

The not-for-profit health insurance company is the first strategic investor in 3rings and is supporting the commercial rollout of the 3rings technology.

The 3rings smartplug connects household appliances, like a kettle or TV, with a cloud messaging platform to provide reassuring updates about routine use and alerts family when there could be a problem via a smartphone app, email, text or automated calls.

In this seed round, Westfield Health has invested more than double the funding 3rings had hoped to raise in the Den. The TV Dragons had been asked to invest £300,000 in exchange for a 10 per cent share.

David Capper, commercial director at Westfield Health, said: “We immediately saw the potential in the 3rings concept and it sits well with our long-term innovation plans. There is an emerging market for smart technology to support health, wellbeing and family care.

“The UK population is getting older and many of our customers are in the ‘sandwich generation’ – balancing work commitments, with caring for older family members and looking after their own children – 3rings technology has the potential to help. This is our first major external investment of this type. As well as assisting us in broadening our service portfolio it supports our ethos of helping people at every stage of their lives.”

Mr Purdham said: “Our partnership with Westfield Health goes beyond the financial investment and we will be working together on innovative product development and distribution to take 3rings and family social care to its next phase.”