Working in investment banking, in one of the operations he was covering, Pablo Otero came across the task of analyzing certain residences for the elderly. “How can a 200-bed residence in the Basque Country not have a website?” he thought. “How will they be communicating the work they do to users? How will they communicate with families?… I saw the market opportunity and jumped in.” Thus, at the beginning of 2019, miResi was born, a comparator of residential centers through which around 6,000 families are advised each month.
A decision as important as finding a place and care for the parents, says Otero, must be well-founded. “And today it is not,” he says. The scant information and presence of these centers in the digital environment did not facilitate the process. “We realized that the majority of people looking for residency have no idea what residency is.”
Otero had come up with the idea and, although he did not have much knowledge of technology, he knew that the company had to stand on it, so he learned to program. “This socio-health sector is undergoing a technology revolution, and I wanted to be a founder and lead this project and I knew that sooner or later I would need it,” he recalls. “And the truth is that I recommend it to anyone who wants to undertake. Today, in the end, I believe that the technological component is superdifferential”. In those early days he developed a “super simple” website, he recalls, and invested a small amount in Google’s advertising service. “And that’s when I saw that the user bought the idea. We had users at the tip of the blade”. Then he began to contact residences to increase the offer and grow.
At first, due to the scant digitization of this sector, he says, they encountered reluctance from some centers. Unlike, for example, hotels, residences were not familiar with reservation platforms or the like and there were companies that did not see the need. “I went with my car residence by residence, because to have a good product you have to bring together a lot of supply, and there were residences that told me: ‘But what is that?'” says Otero. “We have had to educate residences on what miResi is.”
And miResi is a platform where you can compare the different options available when looking for this specialized accommodation. “What we want is for the family to be able to compare between two residences that they like. And that I compare objectively: how many hours of physiotherapy does this one offer me versus this one, what price do these hours have, what are the facilities of A versus B…”, explains Otero.
In addition, they have a free personalized advice service, made up of 18 of the 34 people who make up the company’s team, which last year served some 19,000 families, a number that they plan to increase to 100,000 in 2022. “In the end , looking for residence is not just comparing. It is a very complex emotional process with conflicts between family members, conflicts often with oneself due to feelings of guilt, abandonment, what will they say…”, assures this 28-year-old from Madrid. Apart from providing guidance on the choice, they provide complementary information, such as the possibility of obtaining dependency aid.
miResi brings together some 1,200 centers throughout Spain, although with a greater presence in the Community of Madrid, where the activity began. “Every time there is income, the residence pays us. It is a price that does not affect families, ”says Otero about his business model. In 2021 they invoiced 460,000 euros and this year they aspire to reach revenues of between 2.5 and 3 million. “If you look at our income statement, I think that in the ecosystem start-up It is not very common because we are usually positive EBITDA”, says Otero about the viability of the company. They will close 2021 in the green and, although they are not profitable right now, their goal is to be profitable again in July of this year.
They have recently incorporated two new lines of business. With the first, they seek to help families compare the options they have to make the house that the elderly person leaves profitable, in case it is necessary to face the payment of the residence. The second is the incorporation of day centers to its offer, which arose after verifying that some users were looking for this option as a first step. In addition, in September they will land in Portugal.