Gillian Tee can’t sit still. Whether she is animatedly describing the impetus for Homage, her million-dollar one-stop senior home care app with impassioned gestures, or making moves amid the tech hotbed that is Silicon Valley, Tee’s life seems defined by a constant, tireless need for action.
“I’m happiest when I’m working,” Tee shares between breaths. Her inexhaustible persona belies a tender side: After a breakneck 15-year career overseas that saw her catapult through the ranks of the tech circuit in New York and Silicon Valley (where she co-founded Rocketrip, an app that helps reduce business travel costs, which raised US$18 million in funding), Tee came to the sobering realisation that her mother was growing old in Singapore — without her.
Homage is Tee’s deeply personal tribute to the caregivers who doted on her as she was growing up, from the Malaysian nanny who raised her till she was 10 to Tee’s own ageing mother (whom she felt woefully under-equipped to care for after those years abroad). She desired to provide professional and convenient healthcare for seniors like them.
Though Tee is no longer part of Silicon Valley, she finds no lack of excitement in Singapore. In July, Homage secured US$4 million in Series A funding that was co-led by Golden Gate Ventures and HealthXCapital. Tee revels in the opportunity to revolutionise a once-staid industry but mostly, she enjoys being close to her mother once more.