UK start-up Oliva announces £4.84M seed investment to disrupt UK workplace mental health sector with a next-generation personalized solution


Oliva, an advanced workplace mental health platform founded in 2020, has raised £4.84M in seed funding. The company is on a mission to tackle the growing burden of workplace mental health challenges and help companies to cultivate healthier employees, enabled by relationship-led care and evidence-based solutions. This investment round was led by Stride VC, a seed-stage VC firm based in London, along with additional investment provided by Moonfire.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated unprecedented demand for mental health support and along with it an explosion of ‘human-less’ digital health apps many of which lack any clinical evidence. Entrepreneurs Javier Suarez and Sançar Şahin saw the benefits of digitalisation but also saw how this was de-personalising mental health care. They identified a gap for a highly personalised, clinician-led approach enabled by technology. The result – Oliva, uniquely blends clinician-led care with advanced digital tools to create a robust end-to-end person-centred platform for stress, depression, anxiety, and burnout.

Oliva has experienced sustained revenue growth of over 30% month-on-month since the start of 2021 and is rapidly building out its infrastructure and capabilities. Most notably, the company recently hired industry veteran, Dr Sarah Bateup as Chief Clinical Officer to lead the development of Oliva’s highly personalised approach and rigorous quality control to drive better outcomes. Sarah has pioneered digital mental health service delivery within the NHS and has also authored important peer-reviewed publications that have advanced the field of evidence-based mental healthcare.

Oliva’s ambition is to become the number one mental wellbeing platform for SMEs and fast- growth companies in the UK. It will use this seed capital injection to execute three key priorities in the coming year. These include the acceleration of new digital tools, the provision of additional languages and time zone availability to enable whole workforce coverage, and the expansion of its care offering to include workshops and self-guided content.

“We are very excited to back Oliva in delivering this best-in-class workplace mental health platform.” said Cleo Sham, Partner at Stride VC. “We had looked extensively at this space, and Oliva stood out with an elegant and engaging platform that is science-backed and empowers all stakeholders – the employee, the clinician, and the employer. We were also struck by Javier and Sançar’s dedication to the mission and responsibility towards upholding duty of care. Amid surging demand for workplace mental health support, the team at Oliva has created a best-in-class solution that is driving meaningful support to employees and workplaces.”

Speaking about this development, co-founder and CEO, Javier Suarez said: “This record seed raise is an important endorsement for Oliva’s platform and our exceptional team. Our vision is to become Europe’s most comprehensive and clinically validated workplace mental health platform. As businesses increasingly recognise the need to provide better support and to mitigate the impacts of mental health related absence, Oliva is a standout evidence-based platform that importantly goes beyond treatment to target prevention and early intervention.”