New investment for Bristol-based mental health app helping millions through power of peer support

February 12, 2024

Bristol-based Talklife, the world’s largest peer support network for mental health, has secured investment from a Canadian fund to rapidly grow its pioneering platforms and build its presence in the North American market.

Talklife’s founder Jamie Druitt’s personal experiences inspired him to create the app, which tackles issues such as self-injury, eating disorders, anxiety and depression. 

Launched in London in 2011, it relocated to Bristol seven years later after raising £390,000 from a group of South West investors, including Pukka Herbs founder Sebastian Pole and Greg Le Tocq of Vouchercloud.

It has continued to expand since, becoming an innovative global online peer support community for people to talk about their mental health,

Now it has secured an undisclosed investment from TELUS Ventures, the investment arm of Vancouver-headquartered world-leading communications technology company TELUS.

TalkLife, which employs around 50 people, is already a partner of TELUS Health, a global healthcare leader supporting more than 69m people worldwide, where it is integrated into its employee assistance program (EAP).

It also offers tailored support to key demographics, including more than 250 universities and colleges and hundreds of companies from SMEs to multinationals through its platforms TalkCampus and Talklife Workplace.

These use elements of social networking combined with a safe, supportive environment to deliver real-time, ongoing peer support to more than 5m individuals worldwide day and night across multiple languages.

Jamie Druitt said the new funding would enable TalkLife to rapidly scale its platforms and take them to millions more people around the world.

“I’ve always believed in the power of peer support and we have seen first hand how it saves lives in so many different ways.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the months ahead and the brilliant team we are building. We’re only just getting started and there is much to do.

“No one should struggle alone, and we believe that peer support has the power to break the stigma around mental health.

“Technology allows us to create safe spaces for people to connect and share whenever they need to and wherever they are,”

TELUS Ventures managing partner and vice-president Terry Doyle added: “TELUS Ventures’ mission is to find the best companies in the world and help them transform and grow while they tackle some of today’s biggest challenges.

“By investing in TalkLife, and through the partnership with TELUS Health, we are leveraging cutting-edge technology to bring people together and break down barriers.

“We have seen the impact of their product first-hand and we’re proud to support them as they develop safe, judgment-free communities all around the world to make mental health support more accessible.”

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