Posted on January 15, 2019 by staff

£5m funding for men’s wellbeing website


A new men’s wellbeing platform has announced the close of a £5 million seed round.

Manual will provide users with products, services and content to empower them to take action and deal with problems.

The funding, from leading venture capitalists Felix Capital in the UK, Germany-based Cherry Ventures, and Cassius Capital from the US, will go towards establishing the new website.

Nearly 90 per cent of men don’t seek help unless they have a serious problem, according to a report by the National Pharmacy Association.

The company was co-founded by marketing expert George Pallis, who played a critical role in the rapid growth of both Transferwise and Deliveroo, and Michalis Gkontas, a serial entrepreneur who successfully built and exited Forky to Vivartia in 2018.

“From personal experience we had both been deep in the startup world for a while, and though it was an incredibly rewarding journey, the level of intensity and hard work required meant we were not looking after our wellbeing,” said Paillis.

“From just saying ‘everything is okay’ and cracking on with life when we’re busy, to the information overload we experience when we ask Google, there are many reasons we don’t help ourselves sooner.”

The two friends came together to develop a direct to consumer brand that would have a positive impact on customers and was based on their own passions and learnings.

“Manual is here for men to be better at helping themselves and to speak to the man of today. Our mission is for Manual to support a new positive direction for modern masculinity,” continued Pallis.

Some of the company’s key hires include Dr. Earim Chaudry, former Clinical Lead at Ada Health and an expert in online medical and clinical services, who joins as medical director, and Daniel Sauva, former head of creative for Transferwise, who joins as head of brand.

Approximately 40 per cent of men are affected by ED by age 40, and men have a 20 per cent chance of hair loss in their 20s, and a 30 per cent chance in their 30s, according to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.

Manual launches with a focus on ED and hair loss, but will expand the platform to include solutions and knowledge on everything from sex to skin, and hair to general wellbeing.

Content written by experts and medical professionals will provide users with a step-by-step guide, accessible information, statistics, knowledge of side effects and alternative solutions to their problems.