Wellola aims to raise €100,000 via Spark Crowdfunding campaign

20 Feb 2019

Wellola CEO Sonia Neary. Image: Andres Poveda

Local equity crowdfunding platform Spark presents a new funding route for promising start-ups.

Wellola, a business-to-business communications portal focused on mental healthcare, is in the process of raising €100,000 as part of a campaign on Dublin equity platform Spark Crowdfunding.

Wellola is aiming to raise the €100,000 on the Spark Crowdfunding platform at a pre-money valuation of €1m.

‘We’ve got to a stage now where we can achieve accelerated growth online’

Spark has recently raised funds for the person-to-person car-sharing app Fleet, and the campsite booking portal Campsited. Another campaign by Sproose, an online marketplace platform for local businesses, is expected to close shortly.

Market opportunity

Previously known as PhysioLinked, and a former Start-up of the Week on Siliconrepublic.com, Wellola was founded in 2017 by CEO Sonia Neary.

Wellola’s secure patient portal includes an online reservations system for online therapy, video consultation with no third-party downloads, integrated payment, and e-invoicing and messaging in compliance with the EU’s GDPR.

“We’re really passionate about providing healthcare providers with the tools to deliver professional healthcare anywhere, maximising clinical outcomes and optimising their patients’ online journey,” said Neary.

“One in 10 adults in Ireland has a mental health difficulty at any given time, while almost 20pc of young people aged 19 to 24 and 15pc of children aged 11 to 13 years have experienced a diagnosable mental health disorder at some point in their lives. More shockingly, in May 2018, over 6,500 children and young people were waiting for their first psychological appointment, so the market opportunity is clear,” said Neary.

“We’ve got to a stage now where we can achieve accelerated growth online.”

Wellola, a high-potential start-up (HPSU) client of Enterprise Ireland, aims to match the funds raised with the State agency as part of its HPSU programme. The company is also pre-approved for the Revenue EIIS investment scheme, which means Irish taxpayers get 40pc of their investment back, which consists of 30pc in year one and the remaining 10pc in year four.

“We’re delighted to provide Irish small- and medium-sized investors with another high-calibre investment opportunity, and look forward to working with Sonia and the Wellola team on this campaign,” said Chris Burge, CEO of Spark Crowdfunding.

“Equity crowdfunding allows hundreds of small- and medium-sized investors to purchase shares in early-stage companies. It operates in much the same way as Dragons’ Den where companies pitch for investment and the ‘crowd’ decides if it wishes to invest or not.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years