Karen Cassel
Karen Cassel

San Mateo, CA-based senior living referral service Caring.com has been acquired by private equity investors Caring Holdings, the website announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is good news for the future of our business and is a net positive for our industry,” Caring’s CEO Karen Cassel said in a statement. “The transaction enhances Caring’s competitive position in the marketplace, ensuring that families have more choices in getting help finding senior living communities, while senior living communities likewise benefit from maintaining competition among referral services.”

In November, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Caring’s owner since 2014, Bankrate, had agreed to sell the referral service due to a planned $1.4 billion merger with Red Ventures. Two of Red Ventures’ largest shareholders — private equity firms General Atlantic and Silver Lake Partners — jointly own A Place for Mom, a competitor to Caring.

The Caring Holdings team has more than 15 years of online digital marketing expertise, especially in content marketing and search engine optimization, and a history with online businesses, according to a March 7 FTC filing. Caring Holdings is a newly formed company owned and controlled by corporate entities affiliated with Patrick Gavin, David Wong, Charles Preston III, Salil Jain, Carl Ng and others, according to the filing. They have invested together before, in 2008 in HigherEducation.com, a majority interest of which they later sold, and they also founded soda.com, which operates simpledollar.com, reviews.com and freshome.com, which specialize in using online assets for lead generation, in 2011. That company was sold to Red Ventures in 2016.

“Caring Holdings’ experience and financial investment will enable us to expand our business and increase our ability to serve family caregivers and older adults’ senior care needs,” Cassel said. “We appreciate and value our senior housing partners who recognized our critical role in the industry and advocated for our divestiture.”

A spokesperson for Caring told McKnight’s Senior Living that more than 10 buyers were considered.