The Fund Founder Spotlight Interview: Jessica McGlory of Guaranteed
The Fund is a founder collective and early stage firm, by founders for founders
Welcome to The Founder Spotlight where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at The Fund. This week the spotlight is on Jessica McGlory, Founder and CEO of Guaranteed, a hospice care company that makes tough moments easier by blending at-home treatment with frictionless technology to give everyone the end-of-life they wish for through better care for the dying and the grieving.
The only guarantee in life is death, but it’s not guaranteed that we will have a good dying experience. When Jessica McGlory’s father was put in hospice, it was the first time she’d ever heard the word. She had to learn on the fly; she became a caregiver overnight, and suddenly she faced the reality that her father was at the end of his life. At the two year anniversary of her father’s death, she was reflecting on the hospice experience and realized there was so much left to be desired. She was motivated to build something better and to change the way we treat death. Guaranteed came to her mind, as she wanted a guaranteed positive experience for those in hospice, not only for the dying patients, but also for loved ones, employees, and society as a whole.
What is Guaranteed?
Guaranteed is a tech-enabled healthcare services business and we are providing direct patient care for hospice. We are accredited and certified and currently servicing patients in Los Angeles, with plans to expand into additional markets in 2023. We provide well vetted, highly trained and incredibly empathetic care workers the opportunity to go in and do what they do best. We want to make sure that they can do their job with less focus on the admin side and a lot more focus on providing the best patient experience. We also provide 24/7 coverage with palliative trained nurses via video telemedicine, as well as the ability to schedule visits with your chaplain, social worker, dietitian, all via video with unlimited visits that they're able to do. So they still have the in person care in their home, however, they have increased accessibility to their different care team members. That way if something happens at 2am, they can get an immediate response and have this situation evaluated and addressed right then and there.
What’s Guaranteed’s Northstar?
Our North Star is our dedication to changing the way we treat dying in the world. Not only are we providing a better experience for the patient, family, and staff, but we’re also investing in educational content. People need to start talking about death and dying because everyone struggles when they lose someone close. Death is such a taboo, which is so strange, because all of us will face it. We really try to get people to open up because that's the only way that we're going to allow people to have a better way to die.
Tell us about a recent milestone that Guaranteed crushed.
We closed a seed round of $6.5 million, bringing our total funding to $9.25 million in less than a year of being incorporated. That milestone was particularly huge for a few different reasons. One, we know that this amount of capital will really allow us to build out a true patient experience that we can be proud of. Two, this is one of the hardest and toughest fundraising environments that we've seen in recent times. It was further validation that people really believe that this is something that people need. The third reason this milestone is so important is that it’s one of the largest seed rounds ever raised by a Black female solo founder. I hope that when others see that, they feel inspired and they feel empowered to go out and raise the funds that they need to tackle big visions that can really impact the world.
What sets Guaranteed apart?
Not only do we provide the best patient care for people who are dying, but we are the first hospice in the nation to have family admission, where they get a plan of care, just like the dying patient gets a plan of care. The plans are dedicated to the different realities they will be facing including grief. Unfortunately, one of the big things that ends up happening is that family members see death is coming and they don't want to accept it. They don't visit or take the time to have the needed conversations. We see hospice as an opportunity for people to have closure and experience grief in a healthy way.
Any favorite books?
The book that has made quite an impact on me recently is Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It really helps us examine why we are so obsessed with the curative versus having a natural course of life. Why, even if someone's 93, do we want them to have open heart surgery? This book opened my mind to the way we think about systems. When things have always been done the same way, how can you start to challenge some of those notions and ways of thinking?
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