Onward raises $1.5 million to offer round-trip rides to older adults needing assistance

Uber and Lyft aren’t designed to transport people who need a little help getting out of the house or need someone to help get them from the doctor’s waiting room back to their home. While Uber, for example, has launched Uber Health to help patients get to their appointments, the drivers are not vetted with patient assistance in mind. This is where Onward comes in.

Onward, with $1.5 million in seed funding from Royal Street Ventures, Matchstick Ventures and JPK Capital, launched a few months ago in the San Francisco Bay Area to help seniors safely get from point A to point B. Unlike Uber and Lyft, Onward offers round-trip, door-to-door rides and aims to provide freedom for older adults who may feel isolated, Onward co-founder Mike Lewis told TechCrunch.

The idea for Onward emerged from Lewis’ experience with his mother-in-law who had Alzheimer’s. It got him and his co-founder, Nader Akhnoukh, thinking about the idea of aging in place and how older people may feel isolated as they become unable to do the tasks they’ve spent their whole lives doing, like driving.

“The minute you can’t do that, it’s sad and scary,” Lewis said.

Onward has three

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