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UAL graduate developing inclusive sexual health solutions for the LGBTQ+ community raises £1.5M in seed-funding

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Written by
Eleanor Harvey
Published date
12 January 2022

LVNDR, a technology company dedicated to developing inclusive sexual health solutions for the LGBTQ+ community has raised £1.5M in seed-funding led by Octopus Ventures.

London College of Fashion, UAL graduate Araxie Boyadjian is one of the co-founders, alongside Christopher El Badaoui.

Araxie completed her BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion in 2018, before going on to work in a number of roles, including two years as the Digital Editor at luxury store Aishti in Beirut, Lebanon.

Photo of Araxie and Christopher
Araxie Boyadjian and Christopher El Badaoui, co-founders of LVNDR

Addressing inequality

The LVNDR platform (pronounced lavender, a colour with strong ties throughout history to the LGBTQ+ community), works with current healthcare services to provide greater access, simplifying the process for both the clinician and the patient.

Sexual healthcare affects almost every adult, yet it remains frequently overlooked and often underfunded. The consequences of this are particularly evident in the LGBTQ+ community.

Inspired by Araxie and Christopher’s own experiences as queer people navigating the current sexual healthcare provided in the UK. They've built a platform to support change in both clinical outcomes and perceptions around LGBTQ+ sexual health.

LVNDR website
Credit: LVNDR

Historically, LGBTQ+ patients have faced significant challenges in receiving inclusive and respectful care as deep-rooted homophobia and transphobia still exists directly or indirectly within healthcare systems.

Stonewall's Health in Britain report (2018) found that:

  • 1 in 8 LGBT+ people have faced some form of unequal treatment from healthcare staff
  • 2 in 5 trans people experience a lack of understanding of the community’s unique healthcare needs
  • 24% of trans people said they didn’t know how to access the healthcare intervention they needed

Christopher, CEO of LVNDR explains

"We want to empower individuals to feel seen and have control over their health choices by providing access to tailored sexual health and gender identity services through an integrated digital clinic. Having experienced inadequate care across multiple continents, I think it is time we bring about a solution that closes the gap that exists between heteronormative and queer individuals."

LVNDR website
Credit: LVNDR

Recent investment

LVNDR recently announced they’ve raised £1.5M in seed-funding led by Octopus Ventures. Alongside Calm Storm Ventures and Soho Ventures (UK), as well as prominent angel investors including Pam Garside, Harry Briggs, Alistair Murray, and Angelia Muller.

The funds will allow LVNDR to invest in new product development and grow its commercialisation activities through partnerships with the UK’s leading healthcare providers.

Such as the recent collaboration with Sexual Health London, one of the largest remote sexual health providers in Europe. The aim is to research the benefit of remote intervention tools within sexual health services, initially starting with medication adherence for PrEP users.

LVNDR website
Credit: LVNDR

Future growth

To succeed, the company is expanding its team with a focus on key senior roles in product, operations, partnerships and marketing.

As a strong believer in the power of creativity, the first two LVNDR hires were UAL graduates: Lokesh Saini and Sinuo Guo.

Both Lokesh and Sinuo are London College of Communication (LCC) graduates, and their work focuses on developing and shaping the product and assessing user’s needs.

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