Goodfellows, a startup that aims to provide companionship for senior citizens who are lonely, was launched on Tuesday with the support of early investor Ratan Tata. The startup is founded by Shantanu Naidu, who has been mentored by the Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons for years.
At the launch event, Ratan Tata said, “The bonds between the two generations created by Goodfellows are very meaningful and are helping to address an important social issue In India. I hope the investment helps the young team at Goodfellows grow.”
Over the past six months, Goodfellows has been trialling a beta version of their service with a shortlisted cohort of 20 elderly folks in Mumbai. With the success of this pilot, the company is looking to spread its services to Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru as well. The company claims to have over 800 young potential caregivers who have already signed up to be part of the initiative.
The startup’s founder Shantanu Naidu said, “The startup emphasises that companionship means different things to different people. To some, it may mean watching a movie, narrating stories from the past, going on a walk, or having quiet company sitting around doing nothing together, and we are here to accommodate it all. In its beta phase, we discovered how organically the Grandpals bonded with the Goodfellows.”
Also present at the launch were notable young icons, artist Shriya Pilgaonkar and content creator Viraj Ghelani with their grandparents.