NHS-approved mental health app secures £2.5m in stress-free funding



Thrive Therapeutic Software has closed its latest round of funding in a record 10 days, raising a total of £2.5m in funding and signifying one of the fastest investments of its kind for a UK company in the digital health sector.

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Thrive is the only wellbeing app for the workplace to be approved by the NHS and provides whole-person solutions for workplaces and individuals. These help them overcome periods of stress and help them care for their long-term mental health, through clinical-grade evidence-based techniques and providing in-app access to trained therapists.

As a social impact company, Thrive’s overarching aim is to help people live happier and less stressful lives; supporting them through depression, stress, anxiety, or phobias; and helping them improve their wellbeing at all levels.

This latest round of funding, which was oversubscribed at its close, attracted investment from similar socially conscious firms including Sumerian Foundation and its longstanding supporters Treebeard Trust. Investment platforms Syndicate Room and Wealth Club also contributed, with Wealth Club members investing nearly £1.5 million over eight days.

This investment will be used to research and identify further areas of help Thrive can support, as well as develop the tech platform further. This will allow more integration with existing medical data and give users seamless access to mental health care without barriers.

Dr Andres Fonseca, chief executive officer at Thrive Therapeutic Software, said: “We’ve been blown away by the level of interest in the funding round. We quickly raised £1m from existing investors – both domestically and abroad – which was a real vote of confidence in our model – and we made up the additional £1.5m in just ten days.

“Crucially, we’ve been able to bring on board partners whose principles mirror our own, and are looking to use their investment to benefit society. Being so oversubscribed with interested parties was a really promising sign too, emphasising that the improvement of mental health provision is being taken seriously by the investment world.”

Following its launch in 2012 by consultant psychiatrist Dr Andres Fonseca and consultant clinical psychologist Dr Adam Huxley, Thrive has grown its membership reach to over 200,000 app-users. In 2020, it saw a 211 per cent increase in downloads with the company doubling its headcount to 50 employees in response.

According to NHS England research, mental health problems in England carry an economic and social cost of £105 billion a year. Analysis commissioned by NHS England found the national cost of dedicated mental health support and services across government departments in England totals £34 billion each year.

Andres continued: “As we’re the only corporate wellbeing app to be approved by the NHS, we’re driven by the aim of helping people overcome the personal, emotional and financial impact negative mental health can have, through the effective use of technology.

“With a quarter of us predicted to have mental health issues at some point, the problem will likely worsen given the ramifications from the pandemic year. This is an issue for the whole of society and we believe all employers now have a responsibility to provide for their staff in contributing towards their wellbeing.

“We want the service to be as seamless for the user as possible – they never need to know who is funding their care, it will always be free to them. We will balance funding from their employers, insurers or the NHS and public sector to provide the care they need.

“Following the funding, we’re looking to invest in research and technology to optimise app usability, engagement and impact, and we’re growing our headcount, with an aim of employing more than 80 individuals by this time next year.

“We thank all of our investors for their support and we’re excited to see how this can expand and grow our offering to help many more individuals.”

Alex Davies, founder of Wealth Club, said: “Thrive is addressing one of the most pervasive problems globally – poor mental health – escalated because of the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives. It’s also a problem that’s finally made it to the top of the agenda – of governments and employers alike. So, it’s easy to see why this investment opportunity really resonated with our investors.

“Not only has Thrive proven it can help changing people’s lives – it has also demonstrated it can do so in a commercially viable way: it’s rare for a young company to count big names such as Aviva, AXA, Santander, DHL, Serco, Sodexo and Next amongst its clients and deliver growing revenues each year, with an impressive £1.6m recurring revenue secured already. There could be great things ahead for Thrive, making this a very exciting investment opportunity in our view.”

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