Since the pandemic, there has been a huge uptick in people being worried about their mental wellbeing. Research by cloud accounting software provider based in the UK, FreeAgent revealed the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small business owners and the steps that they have been taking to combat it.
According to the research, around 2.9 million SME owners have experienced burnout as a result of COVID-19. With rising pressure and stress being felt from the pandemic, many business owners have turned to new hobbies and measures to help lessen the negative impact on their mental health.
While a fraction has implemented personal lifestyle changes to combat burnout, more than 22.9 per cent of UK small businesses have implemented mental health policies for their businesses or employees since the start of the pandemic. Given that, here are some mental health startups that are helping small businesses, employees and the common people come out of the pandemic stress.
Founder/s: Calvin Benton, Gavin Dhesi
Founded year: 2017
London-based mental health startup Spill provides remote mental health support for companies via Slack. The startup offers all-in-one mental health support that helps employees to speak with qualified therapists over video, phone or message.
In January, Spill picked up £2 million seed funding led by Ada Ventures along with partner Francesca Warner and the government’s Future Fund initiative. It announced that the investment will be used to develop proactive tools that will help the company create a more psychologically considerate workplace.
Founder/s: Lizzy Hodcroft, Emma Reilly
Founded year: 2018
Founded by women entrepreneurs, the Myndr app is a digital learning and support platform that helps company leaders and its employees deal with common mental health issues via peer-to-peer support. Myndr aims to create an anonymous platform that allows those suffering from common mental health issues to seek help from others who have experienced similar problems. Last year, Myndr received a £300K grant from the Innovate UK Smart Grants programme.
Founder/s: Sançar Şahin, Javier Suarez
Founded year: 2020
UK-based Oliva has launched the first comprehensive online mental healthcare solution for businesses in the UK and Europe. The company provides on-demand, professional-led mental healthcare for employees and managers through a zero-fuss digital platform.
Last month, Oliva had announced a £2.2 million in a pre-seed investment round led by Moonfire Ventures with participation from numerous tech executives from fast-growing European startups and international tech companies, including Amazon, Booking.com, DogBuddy, Typeform, Hotjar, TravelPerk and more. The new funding will support recruitment, product development and international expansion across Europe.
Founder/s: Nick Taylor, Steve Peralta
Founded year: 2016
Based out of London, B2B mental health platform Unmind helps employees proactively measure, understand, and nurture their mental health across seven core areas of wellbeing – fulfilment, coping, calmness, happiness, connection, health, and sleep. It is available to more than 2 million employees in 110 countries and is used by some of the world’s top employers, including Uber, British Airways, Marks & Spencer, and Samsung.
In May this year, Unmind secured £33.2 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round led by EQT Venture. Other investors including, Sapphire Venture, Project A, Felix Capital, and True also participated in the round. Unmind will use the funds to accelerate its international growth this year.
Founder/s: Rich Andrews
Founded year: 2013
Headquartered in Southampton, Healios is a virtual care platform that delivers tailored digital interventions including specialist clinical assessments, therapy sessions, and bespoke support programmes through its employed network of sector-leading clinicians, integrated tools, self-management apps, and a telemedicine platform.
In May 2021, the UK company raised £7 million funding in a Series A round led by InHealth Ventures with participation from existing investors such as AlbionVC. The funds will be used to invest in new assessment and treatment programmes, making even more services available to the NHS and health organisations.
Founder/s: Emilia Molimpakis, Stefano Goria
Founded year: 2020
A mental health startup in London, Thymia empowers clinicians to assess depression faster and more accurately using video games based on Neuropsychology. Also, it analyses video and speech to make mental health assessments smart, starting with depression.
In June, Thymia secured £780K seed funding in an investment round led by Kodori AG and Calm/Storm alongside participation from Form Ventures, Entrepreneur First, and several angel investors. The funding will be used to scale up its platform to assess and monitor depression.
Founder/s: Veroniek Vermeulen
Founded year: 2017
Silatha is a meditation app that incorporates proven scientific methods with psychology to increase people’s well-being. It focuses on women and the changes they go through in life, inclduing pregnancy, motherhood, postnatal depression, eating disorders, miscarriage and menopause. It has created bespoke gemstone jewellery that women wear while they meditate to anchor them and remind them to stay balanced.
UK Therapy Guide
Founder/s: Floss Knight
Founded year: 2012
An affordable and ethical therapy company, UK Therapy Guide, headquartered in London, helps people better understand their problems. It works with professionally-trained and regulated therapists and guides users to be matched with an expert who will best support their individual needs and location. The service works with therapists, counsellors and psychotherapists across the UK.
Recently, UK Therapy Guide announces it has raised £450K seed funding in its first-ever financing round from an angel investor. The investment will be used to help the platform, which works with hundreds of ethical, accredited therapists, psychotherapists and counsellors, expand its reach and range of services.
Founder/s: Michael Acton Smith
Founded year: 2002
UK-based Moshi Sleep is looking to bring mindfulness and meditative techniques to children. Moshi is an app that helps kids sleep. It offers around 150 bits of original content, with 80 original 30-minute bedtime stories written and produced by itself.
In 2020, the Moshi app announced that it closed $12 million (nearly £8.9 million) in a Series B funding round led by Accel alongside participation from Latitude Ventures, Triplepoint Capital, and Bill Roedy, former MTV CEO.
CEO: Nigel Pitchford
Founded year: 2000
Based out of Cambridge, Ieso Health previously known PsychologyOnline provides online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for the treatment of common mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and other disorders. Ieso has over 700 accredited CBT therapists and offers clinically-validated treatment for depression.
The company bagged £28 million in July this year across seven funding rounds, including a £453K grant from Innovate UK to explore cognitive and behavioural biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. The other investors include Ananda Impact Ventures, Cambridge Angels and Clearly Social Angels.