What is Honor?
The advent of Uber started the trend of online marketplaces disrupting traditional industries anywhere from transportation (Uber) to hotels (AirBnb). Honor is one of the latest online platform technologies looking to disrupt specifically in the healthcare market of in-home and elderly care.
Honor provide users with an online platform to connect professional caregivers to patients and their loved ones. Started by ex-Googler – Seth Sternberg, the company founded in 2015 has already raised over $62M in series funding and boasts partnerships with organizations like Alzheimer’s Association for caregiver training. 
Elderly Care Market
The number of people hitting 65+ Medicare age is currently over $46 million and projected to more than double to $98 million by 2050. 
With the baby boomer population reaching elderly age, the projected demand for home health agencies and in-home care is also set to increase. Most in-home care is run by brick and mortar agencies but a number of technology platforms have entered to disrupt the market – Honor among one of them.
Competitive Differentiation on Value Creation and Capture
So how does Honor differentiate itself as a platform technology from the rise of similar elderly care platform companies as well as incumbent home health brick and mortar agencies?
Value Creation: On-Demand vs. Recurring Elderly Services
One of the differentiating factors with Honor is they provide both on-demand and recurring services.  The on-demand model works best for services that can be commoditized – e.g. transportation, delivery. While the majority of Honor’s services cater towards on-demand services, the company also has a personal 1:1 session follow-up after every booking. Honor also provides recurring elderly services such as medical services and bathing. Honor’s step to cater towards on-demand has a deep advantage over brick and mortar agencies that aren’t able to provide the type of fast, convenient service. Honor is taking the strategy to create value in both types.
Scalability: Automation vs. Personalization
On the on-demand side, Honor automate all aspects of their business including an automated match between the caregiver and patient and set platform prices. Honor’s focus on automation enables it to scale more easily than competitors including incumbent brick and mortar agencies. It also provides a higher level of efficiency and convenience than other companies. On the other hand, Carelinx has no automated matches and no set prices – everything is set by the caregivers. While this autonomy for caregivers might be an advantage, I think long term sustainability and scalability will require a more automated platform 
Network Quality: Employees vs. Contractors
As a mechanism to improve the network of caregivers, Honor actually employs it’s caregivers that work directly with the customers, giving them more control over the quality of the marketplace compared to companies like Carelinx and Care.com that only service as a marketplace for third-party caregivers. The latter is subject to higher multihoming effects since caregivers can apply to either program and aren’t employed. Honor has an advantage to creating greater indirect network effects with higher quality, trained caregivers that build a differentiating brand with Honor. The founder boasts over 85% retention rates among their employers. Thus, Honor’s high retention rates and employment of it’s caregivers serves to lower multihoming effects compared to the more open third party market place of competitors like Carelinx and Care.com.
How will Honor stay ahead?
Whoever is able to develop stronger indirect network effects between caregivers and patients while being a sustainable scalable model is likely to win in the marketplace. To do so, companies like Honor will need to understand the greatest value for patients and the patient’s loved one – whether it be through on-demand or more recurring type services. I also don’t believe brick and mortar agencies will go away and as complementary players to Honor’s business it will be important for them to continue to think about how best to work with or provide services that can only be down in a brick and mortar setting. While automation is key to scalability the balance between creating an automated but also customized and personalized service of quality caregivers with also be important.