The Welly platform aims to demystify holistic treatments such as reiki, pictured here
Luxembourg’s first AI-driven online platform for wellbeing, Welly, is set to launch on 1 April.
The platform will allow users to compare and book holistic treatments across some 40 categories of services provided by over 100 Luxembourg practitioners.
Mathias Keune, who is spearheading the initiative, explained that Welly addresses two problems in particular: one is to provide a one-stop-shop for end-users to be aware of what treatments are available, but the other is for the service providers. “A lot of these practitioners are one-person shows working alone or in a very small team and have little access to marketing or tools to promote themselves. Sometimes they have a website, but it can be hard to find these websites, and every website has a different structure,” Keune said in a recent interview.
The platform, which Keune says is Europe’s first AI-driven platform for wellbeing, is based on a proprietary, machine-learning algorithm. As the tool is “trained”, it should also be able to better customise the user experience and make suggestions to them based on simple questions.
Welly was a natural extension of the work Keune and team were doing at Zenview, an immersive virtual reality (VR) platform combining meditation and nature as a tool to promote wellbeing. “We had already done a lot of research for mental health, what kinds of problems employees have,” Keune says. “Especially in Luxembourg, there’s a high risk of burnout.”
He was surprised, however, that most companies told them they didn’t really have well-being initiatives in place at their companies. “They [might] have a food box and a gym, they might think that is enough, but we realised they have no clue what else they could offer.”
From reiki to…VR massage?
At the time of writing, Keune says the team at Welly had already convinced over 100 practitioners to join the platform--necessary to reach a bit of a critical mass to make the platform attractive for end-users. Those practitioners sign up with a monthly subscription plus a transaction fee, but they have access to a dashboard with ratings, virtual wallet, and a messaging system to get in touch with the customer director.
A mockup of how the site will appear once it goes live in April. Image courtesy Welly
Keune said the team was also lucky to have the help of five Sacred Heart University MBA students, who worked on a detailed business plan as part of their capstone programme.
But Welly is still hoping to attract a pre-seed investment of €250,000, which should help them ramp up their marketing. Keune says part of the goal of the platform will also be to demystify holistic treatments, ranging from acupressure to reiki and beyond. “This whole market of well-being can be a bit confusing for people. They have no idea since there’s so much stuff, or they don’t know the right treatment for them,” Keune says.
“It’s an increasing market because people don’t want to go to the pharmacy and take all these pills. They’re looking for a different treatment.”
In the long-term, one of those different treatments could even include a virtual reality massage, powered of course by Zenview. Keune has taken inspiration places such as Esqapes, the world’s first “immersive relaxation” VR massage centre in Los Angeles. He hopes eventually they can partner with a local practitioner to provide a similar experience in Luxembourg.
Early registration is already possible on the platform for both practitioners and customers. Keune says that users who register before the launch will have access to a 50% coupon once the site is live.