By Ian McConnell
A Scottish software start-up led by veteran businessman Nick Kuenssberg, which has developed an online mental wellness platform, has raised more than £500,000 from investors.
Glasgow-based software pioneer Frog Systems, led by Mr Kuenssberg and principal investor Sir Rod Aldridge, said it had secured a raft of blue-chip clients for its platform across a range of sectors “including corporate, financial and professional services, higher education, housing, arts, sport and membership and governing bodies”.
Sir Rod said: “Mental and physical illness does not discriminate. Each of us is touched by it at some point in our lives, and the current pandemic has exacerbated this situation.”
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Business angel and mentor Mr Kuenssberg said: “Having achieved a robust, scalable platform, Frog is now well-placed to demonstrate its capabilities in partnership with any organisation with a duty of care towards its staff, membership or customers. This funding allows the company to make a real difference to society at a time when mental health and wellbeing are top of most people’s agenda.”
Frog Systems said that Sussex Cricket had last month become “the first sports club in the world to launch its own bespoke mental wellness platform using pioneering software developed by Frog Systems”.
The Glasgow company’s free-to-use software platform allows users to hear from people sharing their personal experiences of overcoming life’s challenges. It directs them to relevant support, including services in their area.
Frog Systems noted the platform generates real-time, anonymised, statistical data, “enabling an organisation to provide positive and timely response to key issues”.
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The firm has invested £1.8 million in developing the information technology platform, which it says “is both scalable and offers clients the ability to fully customise solutions to their circumstances and requirements”.
The bulk of the money secured in the latest fundraising round has come from Sir Rod, chairman of the Aldridge Foundation and founder and former chairman of Capita Group. The balance of the new investment has come from existing shareholders, and four new investors.
Frog Systems said the investment would be used to finance the recruitment of new staff, including a sales and service team to lead its expansion over the next 12 months.
Sir Rod said: “The innovative technology developed by Frog uses the power of video to encourage people to take the first step in seeking early support and it provides a bridge between citizens and service providers.”
The mobile-optimised web platform combines videos of users’ “lived experiences” with signposting of local support services, tailored to their individual circumstances, without the need for additional internet searches, Frog Systems said.
The company added that the platform “can be fully tailored to meet the exact needs of any organisation with a duty of care”.
Users can search by topic from drop-down menus of issues which may be relevant to them.
For each topic they are directed to professionally filmed and edited, standardised videos of people who have experienced those issues and a list of contact organisations and agencies in the area which can offer help and support.
Mr Kuenssberg said: “The benefits of Frog are two-fold; the end user receives the encouragement and inspiration to believe they can start their journey to overcome their challenges with the right support, while the organisation has access to Frog’s real-time anonymised data sets, gaining early insight into the potential levels, and types of, issues that may exist within it.”