We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Yesayan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, how does your business help the community?
Whether you’re living with cancer or you know someone who is, OneVillage is here to help you navigate your new normal. We are the first and only marketplace for cancer patients and supporters to find relatable content, care planning tools, and a community that understands.
The lack of online solutions like OneVillage makes the task of procuring the right services online unnecessarily difficult at a time when patients and caregivers are particularly fragile. In our market study of over 500 patients, we found that only 8% of our survey respondents said they were able to meet all of their needs with existing resources. The other 92% shared consistent feelings of fear, anxiety, stress, frustration, and depression, which aren’t ideal mental states for healing and recovery.
OneVillage was founded by Ashley Yesayan, a former venture capital investor who recognized the need for a structured, community-based approach to patient support during her own journey from cancer diagnosis to treatment and recovery. By providing friends and loved ones with the proper tools and guidance, OneVillage helps patients to focus on their health and mental well-being by enabling their loved ones to communicate, coordinate and deliver the best support possible.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I was diagnosed with a serious and invasive form of breast cancer in 2017 at age 35. Three painful surgeries and a year of treatments were grueling on my mind and body, and their side effects landed me in the hospital more than once. In the end, though, I realized that there was nothing I could do to change my circumstances. But I could change how I reacted to them. I decided to stop being fearful and to use that energy to pave an easier path for those that would come after me in this disease.
When I wasn’t frantically researching my prognosis, contemplating my mortality, or sick from treatments, I was a consumer-tech focused VC investor at Revolution in Washington, DC. In the 10 years prior to my diagnosis, I spent my time investing in and scaling high-growth venture backed consumer technology companies including Alarm.com, one of 2015’s top performing IPOs, and numerous other industry-defining portfolio companies like Temperpack, Optoro, and CustomInk.
Over my time at Revolution, my investment teams and I had deployed billions of dollars into consumer-facing technologies designed to add more choice, control, and convenience to everything from buying plants to finding insurance, but when I found myself looking for resources to help navigate a cancer diagnosis, I was startled to find that little existed.
OneVillage was born of this experience, which left me feeling alone, frightened, and marginalized as a result of the lack of resources, community, and content that I had become accustomed to in all other aspects of our otherwise tech-enabled, consumer-driven society.
My domain expertise in building and scaling growth companies, customer acquisition marketing, finance, venture capital, and data privacy, in addition to my direct experience as a cancer patient who was looking for this solution gives me a unique advantage as a founder in this category.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Sending a big heartfelt thank you to Sonny Ganguly and Gaven Capital for backing us with not only capital but time and mentorship. Sonny’s experience as the co-founder of WeddingWire, as well as a cancer advocate, has been invaluable to helping us to understand the needs of the consumer and develop a platform that people want to keep coming back to.