Health insurer nib (ASX: NHF) continues to grow its foothold in digital platforms after acquiring Gold Coast-based Kynd, an online marketplace for users of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Nib subsidiary Thrive has acquired 100 per cent of Kynd, founded in 2017 by chief executive Michael Metcalfe who was astounded by the difficulty of arranging short-term support for his mother following a medical emergency.
"The platform allows NDIS participants to match with service providers, based on their preferences," says Metcalfe, a 2019 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards finalist.
"We want to improve and innovate the NDIS experience and have built a platform with detailed profiles, smart matching, ranking systems and more. Kynd also brings a 24-hour a day booking ability, pricing transparency and hassle-free payment."
It is a business model that in 2021 received $2 million in backing from Australia’s largest family investors Gandel Invest and Greencross founder Dr Glen Richards.
Nib did not disclose the transaction price for its deal, which will see Metcalfe remain at Kynd for a minimum of two years.
"Kynd’s acquisition by nib brings a tremendous opportunity for growth, and benefits for Australia’s NDIS community," the founder explains.
"Together with the entire Kynd team, I am thrilled to join nib Thrive, and look forward to continually improving Kynd."
In 2022 nib raised $158.1 million to enter the NDIS through a series of plan management acquisitions, and now has around 27,000 people registered via the plan management businesses owned by the broader group.
"Kynd is a purpose-built digital platform, offering a marketplace that enables people who use the NDIS, their carers and support coordinators to search, compare and book a range of support services," says nib Thrive chief executive Martin Adlington.
"It brings together buyers and sellers with a high level of transparency around people, services, pricing and payment.
"For people who offer services like in-home and in-community support, therapy assistance, personal care or meal preparation, Kynd provides a job-posting platform with a back-up support team, easy payment and insurance cover."
Arlington says has 70 years of experience n the healthcare sector, linking thousands of healthcare providers with members in need of those services every week.
"We hope to build on that network with NDIS providers as we look to grow our presence in the disability sector to enable, advocate, and facilitate services for participants," Arlington says.
"We hope good technology is part of the solution to some of the problems that currently exist connecting buyers and sellers of disability services. We expect with nib’s scale and reach to be able to grow a technology service, like Kynd, rapidly."
The Kynd acquisition comes within a fortnight of nib announcing plans to invest $24 million into Brisbane-based online healthcare solutions provider Midnight Health, which would give it a 77 per cent stake in the company - up from the 50 per cent it acquired in 2021.
In May, nib completed its acquisition of Port Macquarie-based All Disability Plan Management - the fourth plan manager to come under the insurer's umbrella following two purchases since November 2022 of Victoria’s Peak Plan Management and Queensland-based Connect Plan Management.
"Much like our other acquisitions, All Disability is a high-quality business that provides a consistent and elevated level of care to participants," Adlington said at the time of the business which provides services to about 3,000 participants.
"Founder, Jo Hollis and her team have a very strong reputation across the mid-North Coast. We aim to continue to meet those participants’ needs and further grow the business."
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