Recently injected with fresh funding, the online therapy platform finds itself in fine fettle with a 23-year-old entrepreneur and CEO at the helm.
In 2012, Jordan Casey became one of Europe’s youngest app developers at the age of 12. Since then, the Waterford native has founded multiple start-ups across gaming and education and flown all around the world giving speeches about youth empowerment. And this month, the 23-year-old announced his latest mission by becoming CEO of Fettle.
Based in Dublin, Fettle is an online therapy and coaching platform that wants to make therapy more accessible for all by connecting dozens of qualified and accredited professionals with people – especially the young – to help alleviate anxiety and depression.
“Our core demographic encompasses anyone seeking support for their mental health, from those navigating life’s typical ups and downs to individuals grappling with more profound challenges,” Casey tells SiliconRepublic.com.
New technologies to make therapy easy
Fettle was founded by John O’Connor and Richard Stafford at the height of the pandemic in 2021. Aware of the power of mental health supports, especially at a time as challenging as the pandemic, the duo decided to use technology to create an accessible platform.
O’Connor is currently the founder and CEO of Waterford-based waste collection start-up Kollect, while Stafford is an entrepreneur and former Salesforce and Oracle executive.
O’Connor is also chair of Fettle. “I became involved with Fettle due to a personal understanding of the power of therapy and support, and also through my relationship with co-founder John O’Connor,” Casey says.
According to Casey, Fettle is based around a very simple technology stack, facilitating the process of therapy with an online booking platform and making it easier for clients and therapists to manage their backend processes.
“Being a software engineer at heart, my goal is to introduce new technologies and services that work to benefit and support therapist-matching processes, client and therapist backend management and our onboarding flow,” he says.
“Anything we can do to make it simpler for our clients to access these essential services and for our therapists to provide them, we hope to implement through technology.”
Casey says he is also “hugely interested” in AI and wants to explore how the increasingly advanced technology can be utilised in the therapy space. “But we feel that the real value of therapy comes from human emotion and interaction and so we don’t feel AI will be taking over that area anytime soon,” he adds.
Focus on the young and expansion plans
One of the advantages of having a very young CEO is, unsurprisingly, a renewed focus on the youth – a demographic that is especially in need of accessible mental health support. To this end, Fettle recently introduced youth therapy tailored for teenagers aged 13 and above, ensuring that this critical age group receives the “specialised attention they deserve”.
And it helps that Fettle just raised funding to support its plans. Dublin’s Mashup Group and Malta-based GrowthBox Ventures invested €500,000 in the start-up to support its plans for expansion into youth therapy, hypnotherapy and speech and language therapy.
In 2021, Fettle raised €225,000 in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round backed by Danny Hughes, CEO of Fastway Couriers, Con Lehane, CEO of Cork-based customer service provider Zevas, and Chris Russell, CEO of Waterford-based marketing company Thimba.
With a new management at the helm, including Jack Starling as executive director, Fettle has plans to raise another €1m next year to back its international expansion plans.
“Over the next few months, we plan to explore expansion and internationalisation plans with an eye towards English-speaking regions and the UK,” says Casey.
“The ultimate goal of Fettle is to be the number one source of accessible therapy for everybody in Ireland. We want to be the number one online therapy platform wherever we are.”
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