As baby boomers (aged 57-75 at this point) and Gen X (aged 41-56) head into their dotage, they are no longer the “senior citizens” of yore, being still active and, often, healthy. But leaving work means they lose about half of their social network, which has a negative impact on well-being. Plus, the pandemic increased loneliness levels with COVID lockdowns.
Mirthy’s platform allows over-60s to host or participate in free or “affordable” activities, socialising online and eventually offline as well. It’s aiming to become the “go-to platform for all over-60s’ social, physical and financial needs” thus capturing an increasingly large and wealthy market.
It’s now raised $ 1.1 million pre-seed funding led by Ascension’s “Fair By Design” fund, with participation from Ada Ventures, Redrice Ventures and True.
Co-founders Alex Ramamurthy and Dhruv Haria were inspired by the negative impact of social isolation and loneliness on their parents’ mental and social well-being. Ramamurthy has been chairman of the Care Innovation Hub incubator. Haria is a Cambridge grad (Maths), qualified actuary, and data scientist with a background in the finance and technology domains.
Ramamurthy said: “Both Dhruv and I witnessed the effects retirement was having on our parents. We noticed how their well-being was being affected by their decreasing social circles and the increasing inactive free time they had alone.”
Users for Mirthy can get access everything from fitness classes to belly dancing workshops, and history lectures to piano concerts at home, delivered by hosts, most of them over 60. The startup now claims over 35,000 users since launch in April 2020.
Its competitors include The Joy Club, Hello Revel, GetSetUp and several others. What Mirthy says, however, is that its content is created and curated “by over-60s for 60s” while “most of the other companies offer intergenerational events” and hosts are amateurs, passionate about a particular interest.