26 Nov 2020

Investing in Healthy Lives

By Milly Shotter

A recent report estimates that the UK HealthTech sector now sees a combined turnover of £25.6bn. At BGV our sweet spot in this huge and growing sector is supporting ambitious and visionary startups that are using technology in innovative ways to enable healthy lives for all. 

Every person deserves access to products and services that can promote and support good health. By identifying the areas where traditional operators fall short of meeting this need, tech for good startups can succeed – providing more effective and scalable solutions. 

Within this remit we see a particular opportunity for solutions promoting prevention as much as cure, creating an overall healthier and more resilient society, saving healthcare systems’ money and resources in the long run. 

Pre-2020, Health Tech was already a high-growth industry vertical. But COVID-19 has only served to accelerate its case. As the FT reported – the pandemic sparked a digital transformation in Britain’s health service, and ‘it will never go back.’ 

To bring to life some ambitious tech for good startups working towards healthy lives, meet BGV portfolio companies Second Nature, Aparito, and TalkLife.


Second Nature – helping the world build healthy habits

Tackling SDG 3 – Good health and wellbeing

Second Nature’s mission is to help the world build healthy habits. Their solution is a digital diabetes prevention and weight loss tool combining behavioural science with smart technology and expert coaches.

In 2015, founders Mike and Chris joined the BGV programme with a lofty ambition – to tackle the global epidemic of chronic lifestyle diseases once and for all. They soon began to work towards this goal as, within a year of launching, they became the first ever online behavioural change programme to be commissioned by the NHS.

Second Nature’s digital health programme has a 79% completion rate with an average weight loss of 8.3% at six months. The programme has now been adopted by more than 50 Clinical Commissioning Groups in partnership with the NHS. 

Both Chris and Mike have been featured in Forbes’ ’30 under 30′ list and were recently named as one of the UK’s 50 highest-growth startups

If you believe in the power of behaviour change to help people take control of their health – follow Second Nature here


Aparito – prioritising a patient-centred approach

Tackling SDG 3 – Good health and wellbeing



Aparito is revolutionising clinical trials. Their technology platform helps to streamline the drug development process while prioritising the patient experience. 

In 2014, with 20 years of clinical, research and regulatory experience under her belt, Dr Elin Haf Davies founded Aparito. Her mission was to positively impact patients’ lives. Aparito’s remote monitoring solution consists of a smartphone app and wearable technology that collects continuous patient-generated data, delivering it to a digital platform accessed by physicians and research sponsors. 

Aparito has been successfully involved in 13 trials with leading hospitals, research centres, biotech and pharmaceutical companies and now supports patients in every continent of the world. 

Aparito was also recently named as one of the UK’s 50 highest-growth startups

To learn more about their pioneering work and to follow their journey, head to their website.



TalkLife – where no one struggles alone

Tackling SDG 3 – Good health and wellbeing



TalkLife builds global peer support communities that offer safe and engaging places for young people to get mental health support anytime and anywhere. 

Jamie Druitt created TalkLife in 2012 having gone through his own battles yet finding a lack of mental health support. Growing into a sophisticated platform combining the power of machine learning with social connection, Talklife now spans 125 countries with over 1.5 million users. 

Since using TalkLife, 77% of users find it easier to ask for help when they need it and 68% feel more able to cope with life.

As a result of COVID-19, the company has seen a significant increase in demand as universities and schools look to support their young people remotely. Their university product TalkCampus helps students from five continents at tens of universities.

Follow Talklife here as they continue to tackle the loneliness and mental health epidemic, one conversation at a time. 


If you’re a founder and feeling inspired, take a look at the support and investment we offer.

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