Welcome, Vaibhav Tandon

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At Act, we continue to add talent to our team to help us find (and support) the next great generation of entrepreneurs. Late last year, we announced Andrew O’Neill was joining the investment team as Head Of Platform to provide support within our portfolio and build out our platform function.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce another fresh face to the team—Vaibhav Tandon.

Vaibhav joins us from the National Treasury Management Agency graduate programme with rotations between the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (VC/PE team), new economy and recovery authority, and the national development finance agency.

Vaibhav is a business and economics graduate from TCD and has passed CFA level 1.

Vaibhav will primarily look for seed-stage companies across the tech sector in Ireland at Act, with an eye toward global opportunities. We look forward to working with him.

Spotlight on: SilverCloud

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SilverCloud Health is a company born from academic and clinical research at Trinity College Dublin and Mater University Hospital focusing on digital delivery of mental healthcare. SilverCloud Health spun out in 2012 from over a decade of research, and by 2018, has revolutionised how technology is used to address some of the key challenges in healthcare.

SilverCloud’s team of clinicians, data scientists, technologists and researchers have spent over 15 years optimizing the clinical delivery of effective online behavioural health solutions, empowering users to think and feel better.

“Our goal is to use technology to tear down the barriers that prevent many people from receiving the care they need,”

explains Kevin Higgins, CFO.

“Our interactive and customisable programmes are accessible anywhere, at any time. This overcomes obstacles that might prevent patients from accessing mental health services, such as a lack of clinicians, limited transportation, privacy or stigma concerns. Digital access to treatment also helps in reducing waiting time.”

“We started off looking mainly at depression and anxiety, but we have since enlarged the scope of our work, constantly refining the product and introducing new ideas. Our library is growing rapidly. We will be launching new products on Sleep and Resilience by the end of 2018 and we’re also looking at personal finance stress and what we call ‘Money Worries’, as well as eating disorders – a project we’re developing with Stanford University. We have well over 30 evidenced-based programmes and working with more than 200 organisations worldwide, we’ve helped more than 200,000 patients since 2012, with half of those being delivered through the platform in the past 12 months alone” says Kevin.

When it comes to outcomes, Kevin explains that the clinically validated platform’s performance is quite impressive: “73% of our patients see significant improvement after 6-8 weeks on the platform. Cases of ‘severe symptoms’ drop from 12% to 4% after using the platform, and ‘moderately severe’ cases from 20% to 8%, putting our outcomes on par with face-to-face outcomes.”

In late 2016, SilverCloud received an important equity investment from Act.

The investment allowed us to scale up our activity. We set up an office in the US - a sales team with a physical base. It really breathed new life into the business, allowing us to expand the business significantly and double our staff numbers. Without it, our ticket size would have inevitably been smaller and everything would have been moving at a much slower pace.”

Looking ahead, SilverCloud is keen to move into the wearables space, using wearable technology in combination with the platform in order to provide even better mental health services. We look forward to the next part of the journey!

Onboard with Cityswifter

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We are delighted to announce our investment in CitySwifter, the Galway-based tech company that improves the efficiency and service quality of urban public transportation systems.

We monitored the traction in the UK market, with a number of the largest publicly trading, UK-based multinational transport companies signing up to the service, and the interest in changing in the public transport industry towards providing consumers with smarter transportation through technology. As of now, CitySwifter has analysed data and optimised urban bus networks in eight of the UK’s largest cities and with this investment, they are on route to becoming a leader in “data-driven decision making” for bus networks globally.

 

Brian O’Rourke, co-founder and CEO of CitySwifter stated,

We’re delighted to close this venture capital funding round with participation from some of Ireland’s most experienced entrepreneurs and investors. We can now branch out from the eight cities in the UK where we have already analysed data and scale up our operations across further bus networks in the UK and beyond. This round of funding, with the notable investors and capital, gives us an opportunity to grow and continue to help large public transportation companies and authorities globally to revamp bus networks for both business and passenger service level improvements”.

 

The company plans to recruit tech and commercial talent from around the world to join them in their Galway headquarters where the company intends to double headcount from their current team this year. The ideal candidates would work with high level software development or data science. CitySwifter is also working towards opening offices in London and New York.