People Matter secures £500K, Fitbit for mental health startup wants to scale to improve workplace wellbeing

People Matter Image credits: People Matter

As per a research by Perkbox, there is a surge of 20% in the number of Brits experiencing work stress since 2018. Currently, 79% feel stressed by or at their jobs. This is where Bournemouth-based People Matter’s Okina, an app touted to be ‘Fitbit for mental health’ relieves work stress by monitoring and improving employee wellbeing. Now, People Matter raised £500K funding to scale its analytics platform.

Investment from Innovate UK

People Matter, the workplace wellbeing startup secured £500K Innovate UK Continuity Loan to scale its analytics platform. Earlier in the year, Innovate UK EDGE backed the company to raise £50K from the Innovate UK COVID-19 Rapid Response grant. Furthermore, Innovate UK EDGE will continue to support People Matter throughout all stages of their innovation and growth journey.

Nigel Winship, Managing Director, People Matter said, “The loan has come at just the right time because the pandemic has created huge demand for better wellbeing and a better understanding between employers and employees working remotely. We will now be able to meet that demand by doubling down on R&D and scaling the platform.”

Benefits employers

Businesses benefit by overseeing anonymised wellbeing data, comparing different locations, departments or age ranges. But never at a granular level where individuals could be identified or assessed.

“By bringing a data lens to wellbeing, businesses – particularly those growing, merging or adapting – can monitor how the evolving culture is impacting the team, said Nigel.

With predictive modelling, Okina can highlight things such as burnout risk for specific groups of employees. As a result, businesses can tweak their existing workflows and wellbeing policies before their staff reach near the breaking point.

As per a 2020 Deloitte report, poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45B a year. Those who invest in mental health interventions can get 5x return in terms of reduced absence, presenteeism and staff turnover. This is possible as People Matter aims to add to the list of available, thereby going beyond pulse surveys by working out how people are instead of repeatedly asking them.

Fitbit for mental health

Founded in 2018 by Amy King and Nigel Winship, People Matter works closely with the likes of Experian and Microsoft. The startup bagged the Tech Nation Rising Star Award in 2019 at the South West and National finals.

Okina, its app engages users through activities such as journaling while also measuring their wider digital footprint. It will combine these data points to create a mental health score and display progress over time. Notably, the app can even highlight issues that individuals may not have acknowledged and surface useful content based on what’s happening in their life.

The People Matter wellbeing analytics platform looks at how environmental factors such as digital workplace communication impacts mental health. This insight is used to suggest interventions at both an individual and organisational level and is aimed at creating happier and more resilient businesses.