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Our Investment in Little Journey

Investment thesis

  • As many as three-quarters of children experience severe anxiety before undergoing a healthcare procedure, with 50% developing negative behavioural changes two weeks after an operation.
  • Psychological preparation ahead of procedures has been proven to reduce anxiety levels, but it’s time and resource intensive.
  • There’s a shortage of paediatric data from clinical trials. In the US, the FDA estimates that between 25% and 40% of paediatric clinical trials don’t determine the safety and effectiveness of the treatment under study.
  • Little Journey is a digital eSupport platform that provides multi-faceted support to children and families before, during and after healthcare procedures and clinical trials. A smartphone app delivers interactive content tailored to a child’s age, hospital site, and procedure/trial progress.
  • Currently, Little Journey is available in 16 different languages, with customisable characters representing a breadth of different backgrounds.
  • The platform yields great results in pre-procedural anxiety reduction, with a 32% reduction observed at one site, and a phase III multi-centre randomised control trial currently underway.
  • The team are also using the platform to reduce clinical trial inefficiencies. The app plugs into a trial management tool, allowing it to support participants at the same time as enabling research organisations to more effectively manage trials.

Who are the pioneers?

As an anaesthetic doctor, Little Journey’s co-founder and CEO, Chris Evans, saw the stress and anxiety of children coming in for surgery from the front line. To help tackle the problem he saw, Chris undertook a PhD assessing the way innovations in healthtech stand to reduce stress before surgery and improve patient outcomes. His work at Little Journey is underpinned by his academic research.

Chris’s co-founder, and Little Journey CPO, Sophie Copley is an award-winning product designer, specialised in human centred healthcare and user experience design.

Why us?

As a registered B-Corp, Octopus Ventures is dedicated to backing the people, ideas, and industries that are changing the world.

Chris and Sophie are clearly doing that. They have a built a platform that helps a vulnerable group of people at a vulnerable time and created a model that will allow the business, and with it the benefits it brings, to scale around world.

We’ve long been firm believers in the power of digital tools that can better large cohorts of people or health conditions that are significantly underserved. We’ve helped businesses like QuitGenius and Big Health grow and enter new markets and we’re delighted to support Little Journey as the team embarks on the next stage of their story. We will be working closely with the team as they look to rapidly build upon an impressive existing footprint in the NHS, and drive international growth.