Bristol mental health innovator solves therapist selection challenges

Paranimo

A Bristol-based mental health technology company has raised £135,000 in Innovate UK grants, onboarded over 100 therapists and licenced its tech to businesses in the US and South America.

Bristol-based Paranimo is connecting clients and therapists via its online platform to help overcome challenges in finding the right care locally.

Matthew Vamplew, Co-Founder of Paranimo, outlines the problem: “Therapists will typically list a broad range of specialisms, so finding the one that’s best placed to help with your particular challenges can be like finding a needle in a haystack.”

“Clients will often resort to interviewing therapists on a trial-and-error basis until they find the right one. I know from experience how emotionally draining that can be.”

Matthew also cites location as a key barrier, “where you live shouldn’t determine the quality of care you can access. Since the pandemic, we’ve all discovered the merits of virtual meetings and if your perfect therapist practices in Glasgow, but you live in Swindon, that shouldn’t stop you from accessing that premium level of care.”

Paranimo – which translates to ‘match mind’ in Latin – permits therapists to identify and rank mental health conditions based on who they can help the most. The platform then uses highly advanced search and comparison tools to create a percentage match with potential clients.

Clients will enter their specific requirements and scroll through a “matched” selection of therapists that most closely meet their needs. They can then watch video introductions from therapists, book appointments, pay, and attend video calls through the Virtual Therapy room, all using the Paranimo platform.

In 2020, Matthew began work with Dr Ben Masheder, Access to Funding and Finance Manager, Innovate UK EDGE South West, who highlighted two key Innovate UK funding competitions and provided critical appraisal of Paranimo’s applications.

“Ben’s support was absolutely invaluable; we secured £135,000 over two successful funding applications despite competition from thousands of other businesses.”

Paranimo has used the funding to build new features, onboard over 100 therapists, hire a CTO and develop the new B2B side of the business, Paranimo Connect.

Paranimo Connect enables charities and other organisations to fund therapy on behalf of vulnerable groups or employees. Already, The National Counselling Society, Disability Union and Carer Support Wiltshire have agreed partnerships. Paranimo is also licensing its technology to socially good businesses in the US and South America.

Over the past 12 months, Matthew has worked with Innovate UK EDGE Marketing Specialist, Maggie Robinson, to revamp Paranimo’s marketing strategy.

“We now have a centralised marketing framework that informs our whole direction of travel, which is going to be extremely important as we rapidly accelerate our user count and prepare for further expansion.”