Early Stage

The empathetic audio companion for people impacted by cancer.

The empathetic audio companion for people impacted by cancer.


Raised to Date: Raised: $0

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Convertible Note



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RegCF / RegD 506(c)    Open SEC Filing

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Year Founded



Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

Tech Sector


Distribution Model




Capital Intensity



Los Angeles, California

Business Type


Elly, with a valuation cap of $5 million, is raising funds on SeedInvest. It is an empathetic audio companion for patients who have cancer. The friendly voice and companionship of Elly help improve the emotional wellbeing and quality of life of patients. Every day, Elly talks about an oncology topic, references a motivational story, and leaves an inspirational message for the patients. Simon Holland and Nikhil Pooviah founded Elly in 2019 and raised over $550,000 in previous rounds of funding. The current crowdfunding round has a minimum raise of $25,000 and a maximum raise of $1,000,000, and the proceeds will be used for content, research, marketing, product, and growth. The users of Elly reported a 10% improvement in their quality of life scores in a clinical study of 100 patients.

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Financials as of: 10/05/2020
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Cancer is a devastating disease, and receiving a diagnosis is often the scariest and most traumatic event in a patient’s life. Beyond the initial impact of diagnosis, patients must navigate months or years of arduous treatment, a fundamental — and sometimes permanent — alteration to their way of life, and the feeling of lost control over their journey. While most studies have found that attitude or emotional well-being is not a predictor of cancer mortality, up to 25% of cancer patients suffer from depression — a damaging disease on its own. 

While most cancer care centers are required to offer emotional support services to patients, therapy and group counseling sessions are often infrequent or nonspecific for patients at any hospital outside of large urban centers. Virtual support groups or other online mental health services are a more accessible way for cancer patients to get help navigating the complicated and confusing journey through their disease. 

Elly is an “empathetic audio companion” for those suffering from cancer. The Elly mobile app offers daily motivational audio content, meditations, movement exercises, and oncology-focused classes for cancer patients. The company wants to help cancer patients take ownership of their own treatment journey and play a more active role in managing their emotional (and physical) wellbeing. In the future, Elly plans to launch additional content streams for patients dealing with chronic illnesses other than cancer. 

Elly was launched in 2019 in an initial clinical trial with 100 cancer patients. That trial demonstrated that Elly improved patients’ quality of life score by 15%, with an average 88% user retention rate over one month. Next, Elly is focused on replicating these results via research collaborations with large U.S. health systems like Ochsner, Duke, and Cedars-Sinai. 

Ultimately, Elly will monetize via licensing partnerships with health systems — like those that the company has already partnered with to conduct clinical trials. Elly will also be available as a digital drug companion offered by pharmaceutical companies like Lilly and AstraZeneca. At this point, Elly is pre-revenue. 

Elly’s current SeedInvest raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team.

Next Section: Price


Elly is raising on a convertible note at a $5 million valuation with a 20% conversion discount. This price is appropriate for a company that is pre-revenue but has still developed a proprietary product with validation from clinical trials. Therefore, Elly’s price rating is its highest among all areas measured.

Next Section: Market


It is difficult to calculate the precise size of Elly’s addressable market, given that the product intersects with digital health tools, cancer care, and online mental health services. 

Elly positions itself as competitive within the digital health market, which is large — estimated at $111 billion in 2019 and growing to $510 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 29%. However, Elly occupies such a tiny niche of this huge market (which includes connected devices, healthcare analytics, and more) that these figures are unhelpful in calculating Elly’s potential market impact. 

Elly does fit more cleanly into the cancer supportive care drugs market, which includes treatments and technologies that manage or prevent cancer-related symptoms. This market is projected to reach almost $23 billion by 2016 but is growing at a CAGR of only 1% until then. Elly also occupies a small sliver of this market, which is primarily devoted to pharmaceuticals.

In contrast, the online mental health services market is growing rapidly, at an estimated CAGR of 24.65% between 2019 and 2026 up to a projected value of $15 billion. However, Elly is addressing a very small niche within this market as well. Just over 1.8 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year, and only a small percentage of those will become Elly users. 

Overall, Elly’s precise addressable or obtainable market size is difficult to estimate. However, given that the company operates within a very small niche of each of the markets listed here — and ultimately serves only 1.8 million Americans in its current cancer-only format — Elly’s market size is quite small. This conclusion is reflected in Elly’s very low market score.

Next Section: Team


Elly was founded by two former health entrepreneurs — Nikhil Pooviah and Simon Holland, both Australian. Pooviah is an M.D. and licensed radiation oncology physician, so he leverages direct expertise with cancer care. He also received an investment from SharkTank for his first cancer-focused app, CancerAid. That company, which is still running without Pooviah’s assistance (unclear why), helps cancer patients track and manage information related to their care. 

Holland has co-founded three prior companies: Papercloud, Vivi, and HotDoc. According to Holland’s LinkedIn page, he is still involved as the co-founder of Vivi and HotDoc. It is unclear how these commitments interact with his work on Elly. 

The Elly team has strong entrepreneurial experience, particularly within digital health and cancer care. It also includes a physician with a strong insight into Elly’s end-user. Therefore, Elly’s team score is strong.

Next Section: Differentiators


Elly is essentially the Headspace or Calm app for cancer patients (and potentially other chronic illness sufferers in the future). No other product seems to be filling that exact niche. While cancer patients can, of course, use Headspace, Calm, or even more hands-on therapy products like BetterHelp or Talkspace, they may find the content and guidance on those platforms to be useless given their specific life experiences. 

However, one of these existing mental health services companies could easily expand their offerings to include coverage for cancer patients or those struggling with serious medical conditions. Headspace or Calm are significantly more experienced than Elly in developing a scalable content pipeline. If any of these leading brands turned toward the chronic illness space, Elly would struggle to compete. Therefore, Elly’s differentiation score is middle-of-the-road. Elly seems to have no direct competitors but is bumping against established actors in the audio care space.

Next Section: Performance


Elly launched in 2019 with its first clinical trial and is still in the process of securing additional research partnerships and conducting pilots with hospital systems. Therefore, Elly is pre-revenue. The company posted a net loss of just over $50,000 in 2019, primarily from contractor expenses. Because Elly has not monetized its product yet, the company’s performance score is very low.

Next Section: Other

Bearish Outlook

Elly is pre-revenue, and prospective investors can only use one clinical trial with 100 participants to understand whether the product is likely to succeed in the broader market. Plus, one of Elly’s founders may still be involved with other companies, while the other left his other seemingly-successful cancer care company after just a few years. This lack of data and lack of clarity around Elly’s founding team makes an investment in Elly riskier than for other more established early-stage companies.

Moreover, Elly is operating in a limited obtainable market. While emotional support for cancer patients is undeniably a vital service, an incumbent like Headspace or Calm may have the capacity to add that content category to its existing library, which would effectively eliminate the need for Elly. The Elly team would likely counter-argue that Elly is being sold to health systems and pharmaceutical companies, not consumers (like Headspace and Calm). However, there is little proof thus far that those buyers are willing to spend money for Elly, particularly because there is limited concrete evidence that emotional well-being impacts cancer outcomes and therefore reduces costs for those stakeholders.

Next Section: Bullish Outlook

Bullish Outlook

If results from Elly’s upcoming clinical trials are as strong as data from the first trial, Elly may be able to demonstrate that its product significantly improves quality of life for cancer patients. That result would make it a worthy investment for health systems and pharmaceutical companies. Elly will become an even more compelling purchase for those actors when it expands its content library to include coverage for patients with chronic illnesses besides cancer. 

If Elly achieves true success, the app will be used by patients everywhere to take control of their emotional wellbeing while navigating treatment for cancer or other chronic illnesses. This could mean that millions of people feel less depressed and more prepared to take on their disease — a very meaningful opportunity for Elly to pursue.

Next Section: Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Elly is an emotional wellbeing app for cancer patients and hopes to eventually better the mental health of patients diagnosed with many types of chronic illnesses. Patients can listen to daily meditations, receive treatment motivation from oncology-specific stories, and learn more about their condition with tailored classes and talks. 

Elly is pre-revenue, and prospective investors have little data to go on in attempting to ascertain whether Elly’s product is compelling enough to merit purchases from major health systems and pharmaceutical companies. On the other hand, Elly is a meaningful and scalable concept that has shown early success in clinical trials. Therefore, Elly has been rated a neutral Deal. 

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd staff pick or ratings for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com

Analysis written by Katy Dolan.

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Elly on SeedInvest
Platform: SeedInvest
Security Type: Convertible Note
Valuation: $5,000,000

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