We were proud to see ecentre alumni Carol Mahoney and Shaun Mahoney on The AM Show discussing their business Chirpy Plus, which aims to tackle the number one fear of over 55’s - loneliness.
Chirpy Plus launched in New Zealand and Australia in Nov 2018 with the aim of giving the fastest growing demographic of internet savvy users an opportunity to overcome one of modern day life’s biggest health issues which is actually loneliness. Chirpy solves this issue by not just connecting this group online, but then actively facilitating meeting up in real life for coffee and event outings, face to face in the real world and at a local level.
Watch their interview here: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2019/02/how-to-combat-loneliness.html
This media feature follows closely after their recent announcement of securing a successful first seed investment round, with Bagrie Investment coming on board.
Cameron Bagrie of Bagrie Economics, currently Managing Director of Bagrie Economics and an early stage investor, previously the Chief Economist for the ANZ Banking Group, said, “We’re very pleased to be helping the Chirpy Plus team on the crucial next stage of their growth plans which will be to expand the reach of Chirpy Plus even further into Australia and New Zealand, with a view to a UK or US launch in 6-9 months. This platform has the potential to uniquely solve the well documented physical and mental health issues associated with loneliness in today’s society and it already has a vibrant community reaching out and engaging proving how popular it is.”
The Government and Minister of Finance have noted that while New Zealand has high levels of wellbeing on many measures, “In other areas as diverse as the quality of our rivers or levels of loneliness, there is a need for significant improvement.”
Chirpy Plus is tackling a global issue rather than just creating yet another online space. With the UK appointing its first ever ‘Minister for Loneliness’ in 2018, countries around the world are increasingly examining loneliness—typically defined as the feeling of lacking or losing companionship—as a public health concern and in 2018, former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a “growing health epidemic” citing a study that said social isolation is “associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”
Carol Mahoney – the well-known social tech entrepreneur aged 69 said, “Our long-term goal for Chirpy is to help people make new friends, find local fun activities, save money and make money with our classifieds. NZ and Australia are our first sites, but we are aiming to go out the UK and US in the next few months – maybe we’ll be the next Xero for NZ.”
For more information on Chirpy Plus, contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org.