Meet Dhruv Haria, COO and Co-Founder at Mirthy: An Age-Tech Company Tackling Loneliness & Social Isolation In Over 60s

Mirthy is a digital platform that is reimagining retirement. We offer a comprehensive programme of events and content library, designed to bring like-minded people together to share interests and experiences, learn new things and make new connections once they are no longer in full time work. It’s all about fulfilment and wellbeing.

Mirthy launched in 2020 and we now have over 35,000 users. The business is fortunate to have been supported by some top Venture Capital funds (Ascension, Ada, Redrice and True) and grant making organisations (UnLtd and Nesta). We’re a high-performing team of 12 with big ambitions.

I co-founded Mirthy with Alex Ramamurthy. With our backgrounds and combined experience in Technology start-ups and the Third sector, we are intent on solving problems in the ageing space that have a huge impact on society.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Both Alex 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, lack of purpose and structure, and the increasing inactive free time they had alone. We wanted to bring a better solution to our parent’s lives and millions of others.

This is a hugely underserved demographic, who are feeling increasingly disenfranchised from society. While dialogue around an ageing population focuses on the growing burden on health services, our experience sees a generation of people with more energy, desire for life and time than ever before.

Our vision is to reimagine what it means to be retired. We’re starting with the discovery of new opportunities for learning and connecting through events, and the ambition is to evolve this into a game changing proposition once you’re no longer in full time work.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

We actually launched just before the pandemic, running in-person event trials in under-utilised communal spaces within retirement housing. A month later, the pandemic resulted in national lockdowns and as a result we had to cancel the in-person events.

We were thankfully able to pivot our model very quickly to online events, delivered using technologies such as Zoom. This enabled us to reach a larger, broader audience quicker, therefore resulting in high sign-up and engagement rates for our events. The pandemic further accelerated the adoption of digital technologies amongst our target audience, and this enhanced our reach and pace of scale.

As the pandemic continued into 2021, we evolved our events from lecture-based learning events to also offer interactive community-based events such as coffee mornings, book club, drawing workshops and so on, where our members can have informal conversations and make new connections with other members over shared interests – as they would in-person. Such interactions have greatly helped alleviate the social isolation and loneliness experienced by our members as evidenced in the feedback and testimonials we receive.

What can we hope to see from Mirthy in the future?

We want to continue evolving the proposition to provide more and better opportunities for people to indulge their curiosity, connect with other like-minded people over shared interests and experiences, and to feel welcomed as part of a community once they’re no longer in full time work.

This may be through further developing our content creation, delivery and consumption formats for current and prospective members e.g. written content, introducing in-person or hybrid events, or through new types of community events such as workshops to enhance the learning, discovery and connection experience.

For example, we are already seeing early signs of connections initially made online between members now evolving to hybrid friendships, a mixture of online interaction and in-person meet-ups as they get to know each other better and as the lockdown restrictions ease, and we want to be there to help facilitate such connections.

We are primarily UK focussed currently, however we frequently have attendees from all corners of the world tuning into our events – from California, South Africa all the way to down-under in Australia and New Zealand. We are keen to expand our business from a local to a global one, whilst still maintaining the personable experience and interaction that our members value.