Irish founders of SilverCloud Health to share €23m in €270m deal

US telehealth group Amwell buys highly ranked Irish online mental health business

SilverCloud Health, an Irish tech company that provides online mental health programmes, has been acquired along with another company in a combined deal valued at $320 million (€270 million).

Amwell, a leading telehealth platform in the United States with more than 80 million customers, is buying the Irish company along with Oregon-based Conversa Health in a deal expected to close in the third quarter. The plan is to merge the companies in a move that will allow Amwell to expand its platform offerings and extend its geographic reach.

No breakdown has been publicly disclosed although informed sources suggest Amwell is paying in excess of $250 million for SilverCloud Health. That would mean a payday of about €23 million for the company's founders – Ken Cahill, James Bligh, Karen Tierney, Dr John Sharry and Gavin Doherty.

The Dublin-headquartered company has developed a digital health platform that is used by more than 300 organisations. These include the Health Service Executive and Britain's National Health Service, for whom the company delivers more than 70 per cent of mental health programmes.


A spin-out from a collaborative project between the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC), Mater University Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, SilverCloud was established in 2012 after more than 10 years of advanced clinical and academic research.

The company has raised more than $30 million to date, including a $16 million funding round last year. Its backers include Dublin-based Act Venture Capital and B Capital, a venture capital firm established by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

‘Global impact’

“ The reach of Amwell provides us with the access and resources to become the true global leader of digital mental health care delivery,” said Mr Cahill. “The SilverCloud team has worked tirelessly for over a decade and today becoming part of Amwell enables us to scale against our vision of effective mental healthcare for all.

According to company documents, SilverCloud’s founders collectively owned close to 11 per cent of the business at the end of May. Mr Cahill directly held a stake of 3.4 per cent, worth over €7 million, with the other founders holding smaller but still significant stakes. Act Venture Capital had a 10.35 per cent stake across two separate funds.

Amwell will fund the transactions in a mix of stock and cash. Revenues from the companies are expected to be about $15 million with an anticipated revenue growth rate of approximately 100 per cent in 2022, it said.

John O’Sullivan, a partner at Act Venture Capital, a longtime backer of SilverCloud as well as other Irish tech companies such as Drop, AQ Metrics, Provizio, Ecko and Buymie, said the acquisition reflected the company’s market leading research patient outcomes and business performance.

“Amwell are getting a team dedicated to improving the lives of countless numbers of people experiencing anxiety and depression. It is an outstanding research and business achievement,” he said.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist