Mirthy bags $1.1M to tackle social isolation and loneliness amongst over 60s
Mirthy, a community and activities platform for over-60s, has raised an £800,000 (~$1.1M) pre-seed investment, a year after launching during the pandemic and racking up over 30,000 users.
Mirthy believes that all boomers should be able to live comfortably and participate fully in society. However, too many over-65s in the UK (estimated 1.9m) face poverty and financial disadvantage which prevents them making the most of later life.
In the near term, Mirthy is reshaping socialising and pursuing interests online. Through Mirthy’s activity platform, boomers can host or take part in free and affordable group activities online, with audience interaction and socialising, from the comfort of their home. Activities include educational and entertaining lectures, entertainment and music, fitness, book club, and soon to be much more.
In 2022, Mirthy will develop the ability for users to facilitate and deliver offline activities and meetups for other Mirthy members to attend, offering an accessible alternative for those digitally excluded.
Beyond socialising, Mirthy has plans to launch a membership subscription which will use the bulk buying power of the membership to negotiate partnerships, discounts and deals with 3rd party providers of essential goods and services such as insurance, energy, food/drink, plus much more like freelancing/job opportunities and travel. Membership will cost a small monthly fee.
Mirthy’s goal is to become the go-to platform for lifelong learning and social connection.
Co-Founders Alex Ramamurthy and Dhruv Haria, who set up ‘Mirthy’, share a passion for digital approaches to building communities for over-60s. Ramamurthy had been an Age UK volunteer, involved in social start-ups and was Chief Executive of The Care Workers Charity.
“While dialogue around an ageing population focuses on the growing burden on health services, my experience sees a generation of people with more energy, desire for life and time than ever before,” says Ramamurthy. “I want Mirthy to join you on this new journey once you are no longer in full time work, introduce you to like-minded people, entertain you, and keep you learning!”
“As my mom and dad approached retirement, I noticed how their wellbeing was being affected by their decreasing social circles and the increasing inactive free time they had alone,” says Haria. “Having launched several digital start-ups, I wanted to use technology as a way to find a solution to this issue for my parents and millions of other adults nearing or having passed retirement.”
A recent Mirthy survey showed 81% of users would continue to attend online events and classes after the end of lockdown. This supports Mirthy’s digital-first strategy for activities and community, even after the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The pre-seed round led by Ascension’s Fair By Design fund, with participation from Ada Ventures, Redrice Ventures and True.
Emma Steele, Investment Director at Ascension commented
“we love the team’s vision to leverage tech that promotes social inclusion and opens up the world for people in their 60s, rather than make it smaller. We truly believe the recipe for successful impact investing at scale lies with backing the right founders and mindset. And we are so excited to have found this with Alex & Dhruv.”
Matt Penneycard, Partner at Ada Ventures, said
“we are all aging! We also want to make our older years as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Older demographics have been overlooked as modern life (and VC!) has focused more on youth. Ada Ventures has been looking for technology investments that better serve our aging populations for a while. We’re thrilled by the team and the vision at Mirthy and so are proud to invest in this round.”
Tom March, Managing Partner at Redrice Ventures, said
“Alex and Dhruv are creating a trusted community for this underserved audience, built around a peer-to-peer (P2P) events platform. This P2P focus shows that they understand viscerally the importance of authentic human connections, and in our opinion, this is unique in the market and the perfect foundation from which to build a culture-defining brand.”