MindLabs, the London-based digital mental health company, has raised £1.4 million in pre-seed investment round led by Passion Capital, with participation from Seedcamp, as well as the founders behind leading British consumer tech companies Cazoo, Zoopla, Urban and Carwow.
This is the company’s first round of funding as it aims to tackle the growing problem with mental health, under increased pressure as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has seen depression double in British adults over the last 12 months.
The platform, initially available as a mobile app launching next year, will combine live video from professionals in therapy, psychology and mindfulness with an online community and analytics allowing users to track their current levels of stress or relaxation.
By allowing people to track progress using a range of sensors, including EEG, the app aims to help them rewire their minds through neuroplasticity, enabling strengthening of the neural pathways associated with being in
a calm mental state.
MindLabs was founded by media duo Adnan Ebrahim and Gabor Szedlak, who previously ran the VC-backed automotive phenomenon Car Throttle. There they grew the brand to more than 12 million followers and 500 million monthly video views with clients including Mercedes-Benz, Red Bull and eBay. Car Throttle was successfully acquired by Dennis Publishing last year.
Adnan Ebrahim, co-founder and CEO of MindLabs, said: “Having run a media company in a tough market with a young, millennial workforce, we witnessed first-hand how there was a complete lack of investment in helping this generation with their mental health in a way that they’re used to: a community product that is mobile-first and video-led. We want to make the world a happier place by making working on your mental health as normal as going to the gym.”
Gabor Szedlak, co-founder and COO of MindLabs added: “COVID-19 has massively accelerated the downward trend we’ve seen in people’s wellbeing, and lockdown has only amplified existing problems such as loneliness, anxiety and social media addiction.
“We know consumers are looking for live, rich and personal experiences and we’re excited to build this solution for millions around the world.”
The pre-seed investment is led by Passion Capital, with participation from Seedcamp (Revolut, UIPath, Transferwise), Alex Chesterman OBE (founder of Cazoo and Zoopla), Neil Hutchinson (founder of the Forward Internet Group), Steve Pankhurst (founder of FriendsReunited), James Hind (founder of Carwow) and Jack Tang (founder of Urban).
Eileen Burbidge, Partner at Passion Capital, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be working with MindLabs as they transform the way we look after our minds. Mindfulness is more important now than ever and we know that Adnan and Gabor’s commitment to best in class content, quality production and unparalleled user experience means they’re the best to bring this platform to market.”
The company will use the pre-seed investment to grow its engineering, video production and content teams.