Meet Javier Suarez, Co-Founder at Employee Mental Health Platform: Oliva

Oliva is proper mental healthcare for employers who want to make a real impact on both their teammates’ lives and their organisation’s performance.

Our fully online solution combines a curated team of highly qualified mental health professionals, personalised therapist matching by real humans, dedicated training & support for managers, and a hassle-free digital experience.



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


Before Oliva, I co-founded a startup called TravelPerk. Objectively speaking, it was a great startup success story. I was able to bring together a talented team, build a robust product, and employ hundreds of people.

However, the hidden side of the story is that I was struggling—big time. My anxiety levels were sky-high and my confidence rock-bottom. While I was able to build the foundations of a successful company, I neglected the foundations of my own mental health. Now I’m in a much better place, but it was really hard to find the support I needed. Much harder than it needed to be.

After TravelPerk, I wanted to solve a problem that was personal to me. There was no clearer problem than mental health.

I was introduced to Sançar Sahin, who led marketing teams at successful startups such as Typeform and Hotjar. We connected immediately on the problem that needed to be solved and how we could solve it—great tech, top team, quality care tailored to individuals, and a stigma-crushing brand.

We had both witnessed the problems that poor mental health causes first-hand within otherwise strong companies. It costs millions, damages team morale, and most importantly—it hurts people.

By creating a mental health solution specifically designed for the whole organisation (employees, managers, and company leaders alike), we’re able to make high-quality mental healthcare free for individual employees, as it’s completely employer-funded.



How has the company evolved during the pandemic?


The idea for Oliva was born before the pandemic and we didn’t really change much because of it. However, the pandemic has definitely highlighted the global mental health crisis. More people are talking about it than ever, which is a good thing because that’s the first step to tackling it.


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


This pre-seed funding round has allowed us to build a polished platform, service, and brand from the get-go. From day one, we will offer personalised therapy courses, instantly bookable drop-in sessions, and support tailored for managers—all within our own secure digital platform. With typical SaaS products, being a bit scrappy early on can pay off. But with the stigma and emotional weight attached to mental health, we feel it’s vital to invest more time and funds from an early stage to make sure we get this right.

On the horizon, we’ll look to expand the range of services Oliva offers, enhance the online experience so it works even better for organisations, employees, and mental health professionals. For now, we’re so, so excited to begin helping organisations provide proper mental healthcare for their people.