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Voda: The LGBTQIA+ Mental Health App

Angel Backed
Health & Bio
Voda: The LGBTQIA+ Mental Health App

❓ Business Model

  • Digital therapy app for the LGBTQIA+ community, designed by expert therapists.
  • Monthly subscription-based model.

📈 Traction

  • Loved by 7,800+ LGBTQIA+ users globally.
  • Grew MRR 30.2% MoM in Q4 2023, with 2.50% conversion rate.
  • Effective in reducing clinical scores of anxiety (GAD7) and depression (PHQ9) amongst LGBTQ+ users by 43% and 40%.
  • Featured by Google Play #WeArePlay for Pride Month 2023.
  • Won “Inclusive Tech Innovation of the Year" from PinkNews (the world’s largest LGBTQIA+ news publisher).

🌱Founding Team

  • Jaron Soh - he/him (Co-founder & CEO)
    - 3x Founder, 10+ Years in Product & Growth.
    - Co-leads Series Q, UK's largest LGBT+ founder network.
  • Kris Jack - he/him - (Co-founder & CTO)
    - Previous £40m+ Exit as Chief Data Scientist of Mendeley (acquired).
    - PhD in AI.
  • Chris Sheridan MBACP (Accred), FrSA - they/them - Lead Therapist
    - One of UK's Top Well-Known LGBTQIA+ Psychotherapists.
    - Sits on Inclusivity Board for Soho House.
Voda: The LGBTQIA+ Mental Health App

📖 Story

Jaron's journey with Voda began from his personal frustration with inaccessibility of mental health support for his community. The high cost of private therapy, lengthy NHS waitlists, and lack of LGBTQIA+ specific options in existing mental health apps meant that LGBTQIA+ people were unable to access the help that they needed.

52% of LGBTQIA+ individuals experience depression annually, and for anxiety this rises to 61%. Recognising the acute need for targeted mental health support, Jaron began working with a team of 7 LGBTQIA+ psychotherapists to design Voda.

In under a year, over 7,000 users globally now find support through the app. In 2023, Voda was also featured by leading publications including Forbes, PinkNews and Out for its unique approach in combining clinical expertise with AI to deliver personalised, evidence-based support.

The team is now closing their first funding round of £250k, supported by an all-queer founding team. Their lead VC and LGBTQIA+ angel investors also identify as part of the community.

The funding will be used to enhance the app's capabilities and develops innovative digital therapeutics in collaboration with the NHS.

Voda’s ambition is expansive yet focused: to reach 7 million LGBTQIA+ individuals in the next five years. The rising tides of transphobia and queerphobia in 2024 point to the urgency for accessible mental health care for every queer person.

👀 Reasons to watch

  • Anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiments will reach a tipping point in 2024. As the largest election year in history unfolds this year, politicians globally are increasingly using the LGBTQIA+ community as talking points for their election campaigns. With over half the world's population voting this year, the consequent surge in queerphobia highlights the crucial need for discreet, affordable mental health support like Voda.
  • The digital well-being market is rapidly growing, projected to hit £121.7bn by 2027, and Voda is positioned to seize a significant portion of the £35.1bn LGBTQIA+ market share with our innovative, user-centric approach.
  • Utilising AI safely and innovatively in mental health is key. Co-founder and CTO Kris, has a PhD in AI, and successful deployed of our "Daily AI-Advice" feature in September 2023 has already shown impressive results, improving Day 7 Retention rates by 1.6x.
  • Traditional mental health apps fail to adequately address the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. Voda's synergy of leading psychotherapists' expertise with advanced generative AI technology offers a tailored, inclusive, and effective solution. Backed by a team with proven success in AI, healthtech, and the NHS.

➕Further reading

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