Sachin Raoul is the co-founder of Blueheart, a digital sex therapy app aiming to put relationship health on the public health agenda.
The London-headquartered company’s app, which uses “smart algorithms” to create bespoke relationship therapy, has been used by 50,000 couples across more than 150 countries
Raoul launched Blueheart in 2020 after struggling with sexual dysfunction, but lacked the support to effectively treat it due to societal stigma and the high price of therapy. The sex tech startup raised more than £1m in seed funding in July 2020.
In this week’s Founder in Five Q&A, the Blueheart founder reveals his biggest hiring regret, recalls an encounter with a bigoted investor and explains why he’s excited about space tech.
1. What one thing do you wish you’d done differently when launching your company?
Sachin Raoul: I wish more than anything else that we’d brought on a CMO as part of the founding team or at least as an early hire. Every tech book you’ve ever read is focused on product teams and the simple business strategy ‘save people time or money’.
But there are millions of business categories that don’t do either of those things – chocolate, films, fashion, ad infinitum. Crafting a brand is as essential as building a great product to your success and the sooner you start building your audience, the better.
2. What’s your worst pitching experience?
SR: I once had an investor tell me that I could not be a disadvantaged ethnic minority because Indians are “literally the biggest majority in the world”. They then became confused when I was referring to a member of staff as “they” and made it very clear that they were a ‘definite male’.
Nothing comes remotely close to the ridiculousness of this pitch and how rude some people in this world can be.
3. How do you prevent burnout for yourself and your staff?
SR: The most effective burnout prevention technique is my relationship. Not relationships with friends or family, but romantic relationships. When there’s someone that means so much to you, it takes you away from your work and pushes you to spend time doing things other than work that act as a guard against burnout.
The love, support and magical moments I have with my partner make the stress of building a company so much more bearable.
4. What’s a fact about yourself that people might find surprising?
SR: I’m not going to be remembered for my innovations in technology, but I’ll be remembered as an installation artist. Act two, coming soon.
5. Which nascent technology holds the most promise?
SR: Space tech is the single most important area of innovation that will save humankind. It’s a mathematical fact that for humans to exist we will have to solve interplanetary and interstellar travel. Whether for food resources, space or simply to avoid a planet-destroying asteroid, we will need to diversify our home planet.
Space tech is less than 50 years old, but it is going to define the security of human life and it’s the most exciting field of technology there is.
Founder in Five – a UKTN Q&A series with the entrepreneurs behind the UK’s innovative startups, scaleups, unicorns and public tech companies – is published every Friday.