London-based speech and language therapy platform, Noala, has snapped $4 million in an oversubscribed seed round. The investment round was led by LocalGlobe (that invested in KOOS, Ark Kapital and Residently) with participation from Cocoa Ventures, and angels from BlaBlaCar, Kry, Mirakl and Peak.
The seed funding will be used to continue developing its leading digital tools by growing the product and clinical teams in a bid to make Noala the go-to platform for everyone involved in speech and language services.
Noala founder Emilie Spire said: “At Noala, we’re building the go-to platform to improve one’s communication skills, empowering a decentralised fleet of Speech and Language Professionals to deliver clinically-backed digital coaching programs.”
Julia Hawkins, General Partner at LocalGlobe, said: “Emilie and her team at Noala are on a mission to make speech and language therapy mainstream. Leveraging their digital platform, they aim to reduce the friction usually associated with accessing speech and language therapy treatment. As we’ve seen in other pillars of the health sector in the wake of Covid, teletherapy presents a significant opportunity to improve access but only when it’s built with inclusion in mind, and only when it’s backed with clinical authority. Noala has encapsulated this with its platform-led approach and Emilie’s inspiring motivation.”
Quick access to therapists
Noala powers a decentralised fleet of Speech and Language Professionals (SLPs), delivering clinically-backed digital coaching programs supporting families to level up their children’s communication skills. The platform approach removes many of the barriers that exist when trying to access vital therapy services, both on and offline.
Noala gives families access to support, advice and personalised practical exercises faster from the comfort of their home. By helping people access clinically-backed coaching within a week, it allows their families and loved ones to have more control over their care and treatment. It brings them peace of mind, gives them more time with patients and helps in relieving the pressure on health services and schools.
Idea behind forming Noala
Noala was founded by Emilie Spire in 2021 after she saw the impact that communication disorders can have on a person’s quality of life after her niece Ambre suffered from a stroke just before she was born.
Having spent her career in investing and product building at brands including Partech, Felix Capital and BlaBlaCar, Emilie was inspired by her niece’s journey to build a platform that meaningfully supports the needs of millions of people to help minimise this impact and give people back their voice.
Affordable than traditional services
Noala is a coaching platform that brings benefits as a standalone treatment option or it can be used while patients are on waiting lists, and alongside existing NHS, or school-led treatment plans. Each six-week program is curated and managed by the in-house clinical team. Users are assigned dedicated Noala SLPs throughout their time on the platform and these SLPs review each patient’s progress to offer clinical feedback and tailor the program to individual needs and development.
Noala’s fixed and transparent pricing structure is typically more affordable for both families and schools, costing a third of the prices of traditional private services on average. Patients can use Noala on both a long-term basis and as a short-term solution while waiting for NHS treatment because the two are designed to be complementary.
Kate, Noala user from Essex, said: “It was great that we were able to choose a convenient time for the appointment and do it at home in an environment where my son is comfortable.”