Mirthy, a community and activities platform for over-60s, has raised an £800,000 pre-seed investment, a year after launching during the pandemic and racking up over 30k users.
The pre-seed round led by Ascension’s Fair By Design fund is more than double their initial target, with participation from Ada Ventures, Redrice Ventures and True. Mirthy Ltd and its co-Founders, Alex Ramamurthy and Dhruv Haria, received legal advice from Mincoffs Solicitors’ corporate team throughout the investment process.
With technology adoption increasing rapidly among older demographics, Mirthy’s aim is to provide a platform to allow over 60s to host or participate in activities and socialising both online and eventually offline too.
According to a Report from Mangrove Capital Partners, almost three quarters (74%) of those aged over 55 in the UK now own a smartphone. Over a third use messaging apps such as WhatsApp and nearly half (43%) use social media services such as Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch with friends and family.
The pandemic in particular has highlighted the importance of technology in protecting the mental health, happiness and financial wellbeing of older adults.
A recent survey conducted by Mirthy 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.
Alex and Dhruv share a passion for digital approaches to building communities for over-60s. Ramamurthy had been an Age UK volunteer, was 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 Alex. “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 energised!”
“As my parents 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 Dhruv. “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.”
Mirthys’ long-term goal is to become the go-to platform for all over 60s’ social, physical and financial needs.
With more than double the amount of pre-seed funding they had initially planned to raise, Mirthy’s team intends to step on the gas and will need to move quickly to stay ahead of new entrants in this space.
Daniel Bell, a solicitor in Mincoffs’ corporate team, led the advice to Mirthy Ltd on the investment. Dan commented: “I am thrilled that Alex and Dhruv have been able to exceed their initial investment target, a credit to their vision and the valuable work they do. Both Alex and Dhruv were a pleasure to work with and I look forward to seeing how they use the investment to grow the Mirthy platform in the future.”
Alex added: “Dan and the corporate team provided timely, proportionate and helpful advice which helped us massively to close the transaction in a smooth and efficient fashion.”
Emma Steele, Investment Director at Ascension, said “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.”
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