Liv, developed by Groningen-based startup Coachjezelf, is well on its way to achieving a solid position on the healthcare and wellness market. The number of GP clinics using this online tool to help coach patients with minor mental health problems has grown rapidly in a very short time – from 20 to close to 300. Once again, it’s time for NOM and G-Force Capital to help a rising star take that next step.
Liv was created some seven years ago to facilitate the work of professionals such as mental healthcare assistants based in GP clinics. ‘It supports the process they go through with patients,’ explains Jean-Luc Donders, co-founder and Director of Coachjezelf. ‘The app provides patients with a wide variety of exercises, so they can also work on their problems in their free time. The mental healthcare assistant can monitor their progress online, and discuss details during the face-to-face appointments. And yes, the combination of self-reliance and personal contact has proven very successful.’
And it appears Liv’s current success is only the beginning, Liv is upscaling to even more GP clinics. ‘But we’re also working hard to deploy the app more widely, to relieve staff shortages in healthcare, for example,’ notes Donders. ‘That means expanding it to lifestyle-related conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. In addition to GP clinics, we’re looking at supporting mental health institutions.’
Potential and confidence
Coachjezelf developed Liv in close cooperation with digital agency Coolminds in Leeuwarden and Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. To ensure a successful launch, NOM and G-Force Capital stepped in with financing in 2019. Both investors recently decided to renew their funding for the startup. ‘We recognised Liv’s potential early on,’ offers NOM Investment Manager Chantal Leijendekker. ‘We saw that the app for GP clinics could provide a solution for waiting lists, rising costs and calls for more autonomy in healthcare. At the same time, we had full confidence that Jean-Luc could market it successfully. And as we’ve seen, that confidence was well placed. Finally, in such a difficult market, it’s no small feat to scale up from 20 to almost 300 GP clinics. So we’re happy to provide Coachjezelf with additional financing to take the next step.’
Easy to use
Liv is particularly lauded for its ease of use. Short, effective exercises that are easy for patients to do in their spare time, without having to wait for their next appointment. And no long, hard-to-read texts. ‘That was our main focus from the very beginning,’ adds Donders. ‘We wanted to develop a tool that was easy for care providers to work with, without compromising on patient-friendliness. That’s only possible if you actually act on the feedback you receive. Listening carefully to users, figuring out where the actual need lies, and making the right adjustments based on that. That approach has served us well so far, and it will also be vital to our current and future ambitions.’
"We wanted to develop a tool that was easy for care providers to work with, without compromising on patient-friendliness."
Liv’s growth comes as no surprise at all to Niek Huizenga, Fund Manager at G-Force Capital. The reason is simple: not only does the e-health solution make life easier for GP clinics, it also delivers demonstrable results. ‘On top of that, Jean-Luc is able to build a strong team around him, and win people over to the concept. His background and ample experience in healthcare are key assets. He knows exactly how the market works, where the sticking points lie and how to deal with them. The time has come to use Liv’s success in GP clinics as a springboard for other target groups. Like NOM, we firmly believe in its continued success. That’s based on the quality of the application, but also and especially on the untapped potential in support and prevention.’