Tata Sons’ Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata, known to back up start-ups, recently backed yet another start-up – GoodFellows – which provides inter-generational friendship and calls itself a ‘Companionship Company’.
Founded by Shantanu Naidu, who is currently Ratan Tata’s business assistant, GoodFellows is currently in a beta testing phase, and eventually looks to recruit graduates under the age of 30 years to provide companionship to elderly people. The graduates, called ‘Goodfellows’, would provide friendship to the elderly and accompany them for various activities like going for walks, grocery shopping, doctor visits, bank work, teaching them technology, and helping them with paperwork and e-mails, or then, simply spend time with the ‘Grandpals’, as per Shantanu.
The start-up looks to begin commercial operations in January, 2022. Once launched, GoodFellows will charge a monthly subscription. “Intergenerational friendships are a kind, meaningful and authentic way to help the elderly living alone with companionship and warmth in the way that GoodFellows is offering. I am keen to see how GoodFellows progresses and wish Shantanu and his young team all the very best,” Ratan Tata shared in an e-mailed statement.
Ratan Tata has funded nearly 50 start-ups including Airbnb, Bombay Hemp Company, Bluestone, Goquii, Ikure, Nestaway, Paytm and Ola Electric. He had also exited from two ventures — Lenskart and Urban ladder – while a couple of them became Unicorns – a term for a start-up valued at and over $1 billion. Regarded as one of the world’s leading philanthropists and the community’s foremost, Ratan Tata has been investing in firms with philanthropic causes ranging from electric vehicles to healthcare and mobility.