What do you get when you mix two psychotherapists who happen to be recovering addicts? A seriously effective recovery platform.

At least that has been the case for Josh Kalsbeek and Alex Lerza, now co-founders of rTribe.

Back in 2015, Kalsbeek and Lerza were reflecting on their own recovery experiences and saw an opportunity to address the needs of increasingly-digital patients. They set out on a path to provide a digital platform for addiction recovery.

In just a couple of years, Kalsbeek and Lerza have grown the rTribe platform from zero to nearly 200,000 users. And we’re proud to say that Layer has been with the team from the start.

rTribe’s Strong Mission Faced a Technical Challenge

Connection is our core value. But we needed to empower people to connect in an affordable, accessible, and anonymous way. These were three values we focused on when planning how rTribe would connect peers together for daily check-ins because of the unique challenges of working with addicts.”—Josh Kalsbeek, Co-Founder and CPO of rTribe

Kalsbeek and Lerza evaluated the existing market for online recovery communities. At first, they thought about offering courses and traditional rehab through a website.

But the more they thought about taking traditional treatment digital, the more they realized there wasn’t anything anonymous enough for what they wanted to offer. As a result, rTribe exists in Android and iOS apps, driven by rich messaging and notifications.

“When we decided to go down the road of rich messaging, we quickly realized it wasn’t something we could throw together with a simple website. We needed a solution that could get us to market quickly without the costs of hiring an internal development team.”—Alex Lerza, Co-Founder and CEO of rTribe

With technical challenges standing in the way of rTribe’s mission, the co-founders decided to build their platform with the Layer Customer Conversation Platform at its core.

Layer Drives User Connections for rTribe

By choosing Layer, rTribe was able to build a unique, branded user experience without having to create a messaging platform from scratch.

The team hired an outside partner to develop their iOS and Android applications. Once those were ready for the public, they had to integrate Layer messaging into the responsive experience.

“Layer was a pretty obvious choice for us,” said Kalsbeek. “Other options just weren’t as good at facilitating instant connections between users. We needed a platform that would help users connect on a deep and vulnerable level.”

Building trust is the foundation of our business at Layer and we were happy to share that same vision with rTribe.

With Layer’s messaging functionality baked into rTribe’s core experience, the results quickly became clear. Since implementing Layer, rTribe has enjoyed the performance and stability of our platform.

But more importantly, rich messaging has increased daily check-in engagement from 13% to 57% across the platform. According to Lerza, “Layer helps us create a space for authenticity and vulnerability that really resonates with rTribe users.”

From Addiction Recovery to Mental Health Support

rTribe has found success with its specific focus on addiction recovery. Now, they’ve released rTribe 2.0 to focus on meeting America’s greater need for mental health support.

In the United States, 40% of people say their jobs are extremely stressful. The strain on employee mental health is a $225 billion problem for businesses. rTribe has been so powerful because it’s all about connection. Our brains are wired for connection and we think Layer does a great job in empowering valuable connection to take place.”—Josh Kalsbeek

rTribe 2.0 will use Layer to create a two-sided marketplace with digital counseling via asynchronous messaging. Beyond secure messaging, rTribe has now taken advantage of our HIPAA compliance to connect counselors and coaches with contextual patient information.

It’s still the early days of rTribe’s evolution. However, the team has already integrated video calling into patient conversations. Health check reporting and mood tracking are on the way as well. This is the kind of healthcare transformation that we’re proud to be part of at Layer.

Hope you enjoyed this installment of our customer spotlight series! Make sure you come back next Thursday for our story on Ahoy, a platform changing the way companies book travel.