This week we caught up with successful entrepreneur Chris Donnelly to discuss his latest venture, Lottie - a healthtech platform for care homes. Chris shares insights on the challenges facing the healthcare sector, the role of technology in solving them, and his vision for Lottie in the next five years. We also gain valuable advice from Chris on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
IL: Hi Chris, it is so lovely to catch up with you again. First of all, for those groups who haven’t met you in the past, maybe you can give us some background information about your extremely successful entrepreneur journey, starting from Verb Brands – the digital marketing agency for luxury brands?
Chris: I launched Verb Brands during my final year of University when I was 21 years old. Verb Brands is a digital marketing agency that helps luxury brands grow their audiences and revenues through SEO, PPC, social media, and creative marketing. Our aim was to become the best digital marketing agency for luxury brands, and from 2013 to 2021, I built Verb Brands from scratch to being 100 people strong globally, with offices in London and New York. Our clients included prestigious brands such as Aston Martin, Bugatti, The Ritz, Claridges, Calzedonia, Creed, and many more. I sold the business in 2021 in an 8 figure transaction and have since moved on to pursue new interests and projects, including Lottie.
IL: That’s a fascinating journey you had, how about your new venture, Lottie – the Healthtech platform for care homes?
Chris: It has been an absolutely incredible journey. I launched Lottie.org with my brother Will Donnelly to build a marketplace for care homes. Lottie is a health tech business that provides a marketplace for care homes, as well as builds and deploys software for them. After just 12 months of trading, Lottie was valued at £50 million and is now considered one of Europe’s most exciting startup brands.
IL: Health is such a topical subject given what we have been through over the past three years. In your experience, what are the challenges facing by the health sectors, particularly in care homes for the elderly?
Chris: The main challenges facing the healthcare system, particularly in care homes for the elderly, are a lack of funding and support in the later life space. Lottie is aimed at solving many of the core issues that the sector faces, including improving transparency for potential residents and enhancing the level of care provided by care homes. We believe technology can be a powerful tool in achieving these goals.
IL: Do you think technology can help us to solve these issues? Do you view Lottie as part of the solutions?
Chris: Technology can improve the transparency of homes that is offered to potential residents as well as help the care homes themselves to provide a better quality of care. Our technology helps homes to find more residents to fill their beds as well as organizes all their paper processes into automated digital solutions, resulting in far more efficiency and cost savings that can be used to enhance the level of care.
IL: I understand Lottie has grown exceptionally fast compared to Verb Brands, how do you manage the situation, or what is more important to you, access to capital, developing technology, or human talents?
Chris: Verb was bootstrapped and took 10 years to reach an 8-figure valuation whereas Lottie has grown incredibly quickly and received funding to allow it to grow at that pace achieving an 8 figures valuation within the first year.
IL: What’s your vision for Lottie for the next five years? Any expansion into other markets?
Chris: Our vision for Lottie over the next five years is to fundamentally transform the social care sector by providing transparency to care seekers and offering enhanced digital solutions to care partners.
IL: Do you have any advice for our students who will be inspired by what you have achieved?
Chris: I meet a lot of young people who want to start billion-pound businesses. My core bit of advice is just to focus on building a business because the very act of starting will expedite everything
Insider London is proud to partner with Lottie. If you want to learn more about leveraging technology and innovative solutions and how Lottie is transforming the social care sector, contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to book your company visit.