Founder Charlie Wells was 29 years old, newly married and enjoying a great career in healthcare marketing when he suddenly suffered a significant brain injury. He fell into a coma, and his wife and family were told that the chance of Charlie waking up was small. Against the odds, and thanks to revolutionary surgery, Charlie survived – though he says it took him a year to relearn the basic skills he had lost like reading and walking. Charlie has commented ‘I promised myself if I got well, I was going to invest my energy in three things: keeping myself happy and healthy, in the relationships that mattered to me, … and thirdly in ‘undenting’ the world, and making it better.’ Three years later, he was running 100km ultramarathons. By monitoring his own recovery, Charlie became more interested in the self-improvement and neurotech world.
This was a key part of the journey that inspired Charlie to create HelloSelf, an online service that aims to match users up to their ideal mental health professional and provides AI-enhanced support online between sessions.
The mental health charity Mind estimated that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year. HelloSelf focuses on early intervention and ongoing support for those who require it, both online and in-person, enabling people to get well faster and stay well for longer. While patients may find that they wait 12 months for an NHS appointment, and 12 weeks for a private appointment, HelloSelf cuts this time down to just 2 weeks, providing valuable care to those who need it much faster.
Charlie is an experienced entrepreneur who Oxford Capital are proud to have backed since 2018. Today, HelloSelf provides treatment to thousands of individuals each month and, through its employer programme, looks after 250,000 employees providing them with ready access to psychological support. In addition, it works with several insurance providers such as Vitality and Bupa.
HelloSelf aims to provide more effective therapy, with shorter waiting times, all backed up by ‘HAIPY’, their AI system designed to evaluate, formulate, and interact with individuals. HelloSelf also encourages people to interact with the platform daily, and uses NHS approved clinical tools to measure outcomes weekly. Delivering thousands of sessions each month, there is certainly evidence to say that the estimated 1.8 billion people who could benefit from mental health care (according to Mind) will reap the rewards of more accessible resources and clinicians through HelloSelf.
David Mott, Founding Partner at Oxford Capital commented:
“At Oxford Capital, we’re proud to have backed Charlie and his team from an early stage in their mission to offer mental health support to those who need it. Our backing founders strategy is focused on helping companies with a strong vision grow to their full potential and it’s been great to support HelloSelf on their growth journey to date. We’re looking forward to working with the team going forwards to support to even more people protect and improve their mental health.”