Irish online therapy start-up Fettle raises €225,000 in pre-seed funding

8 Sep 2021

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Fettle co-founder Richard Stafford said the platform aims to raise up to €1.5m in funding by early next year.

Irish start-up Fettle has just raised €225,000 in pre-seed funding for its online therapy service.

The Wexford-based company connects qualified therapists to those seeking professional counselling for issues such as anxiety, grief and trauma. Users who sign up for the service can schedule sessions with therapists over video calls.

The oversubscribed pre-seed funding round featured investment from 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.

Launched in April of this year, Fettle was founded by Kollect co-founder John O’Connor and former Salesforce and Oracle exec Richard Stafford. Since then, the platform has grown to welcome “several hundred” clients weekly, and its network of therapists have delivered thousands of online therapy sessions.

“I was at a turning point in my personal life and professional career having experienced poor mental health at times for a number of years,” said Stafford, who is CEO of Fettle. “Launching a mental health platform during lockdown, while working from home, was extremely stressful and taxing on my wellbeing and resilience. However, Fettle is the perfect marriage between my personal and professional background and experience.

“Currently only 11pc of Irish people seek help through counselling, way below the 28pc average of the UK and the 49pc of the United States,” he added. “Fettle aims to address this imbalance by taking a mobile, digital-first approach, while making therapy meaningful, accessible and stigma-free for all.”

Fettle’s therapists are accredited from recognised bodies such as the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Seed funding plans

Stafford told Siliconrepublic.com that Fettle aims to raise up to €1.5m in seed funding by early next year.

“There is a very definite plan in place for this raise and discussions are already taking place. The pre-seed raise now is a response to our quick growth.”

In July, Fettle reached 500 clients and Stafford said the company wants to capitalise on this early traction in the coming months.

The pre-seed investment will be used to increase the platform’s network of therapists and enhance the use of technology in Fettle’s offerings. The company also said that a “number of full-time roles” in operations, client relationships and marketing will be created over the next two months.

Vish Gain is a journalist and copywriter with Silicon Republic

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