Monday, 11 December 2017

Ex-Formula 1 boss drives into online social care guide

A FORMER Formula 1 boss has taken a stake in a Checkendon company.

A FORMER Formula 1 boss has taken a stake in a Checkendon company.

Nick Fry, who used to be chief executive of the Mercedes F1 team, has bought shares in Trusted Care, an online social care directory.

He has been joined by Del Huse, managing director of asset management and financial advisory business Oakley Capital. Both will be actively involved in the company.

Trusted Care, which is based at the 2Heads Global Design business park, helps care providers to promote their services and shares the experiences of clients through feedback and recommendations.

It lists details of 34,000 operators in the country and also provides a comparison service.

Mark Walford, who set up the business in December, said he was delighted with the response to his request for “angel” funding.He said: “This will allow us to really bring the service to the attention of the public and people who are looking for care provision through a range of online and offline marketing activities.

“We are expanding our programme working with GPs, local authorities and healthcare professionals who are some of the key gatekeepers and the first place people turn to when looking for care services.

“We are also investing heavily in search engine and web-based marketing activities as key drivers of website traffic and we are recruiting a number of staff to support the growth we are experiencing.” Mr Walford, a former business student at The Henley College, said the cash injection would allow the company to remain debt-free and with capital in the bank.

He added: “It also brings the added benefit of experience as most angel investors like to get involved with the company, to share their experience and skills in order to add value and grow the company. This is certainly the case with Nick and Del.”

Mr Walford, from Chinnor, funded the set-up costs himself and earns revenue from subscriptions to the site. Care providers can pay £300 per year to use more features on the site and expand their profile but the site will remain free to users.

Mr Fry, who is also a former managing director of Aston Martin, said choosing the right care for relatives was important. He said: “Mr Walford’s personal experience in the industry and his energy and enthusiasm to provide easy-to-access information online gave me the confidence to invest in what I believe will be a very successful company filling an increasingly important need.”

Mr Huse said: “The website represents a unique and scalable online platform in a sector which is crying out for a single source of transparent, independent and reliable consumer information. I am genuinely looking forward to working with the Trusted Care team to assist in accelerating growth and developing the business to a dominant, market-leading position.”

Mr Fry stepped down from Mercedes in May but will remain in an advisory role until May next year.

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