London-based MindLabs raises £1.4 million for the world’s first Live Mental Health Platform
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, NIH data showed that “nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (46.6 million in 2017).” Mental illnesses include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the need to care for mental health patients is greater. Treating mental health is one of the most urgent opportunities to improve billions of lives.
Enter MindLabs, a London-based digital mental health startup on a mission 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.
Today, MindLabs announced it has raised a £1.4 million 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.
The platform, initially available as a mobile app launching in 2021, 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.
“We think that in order to change the world, you need to first believe that you can change the world. And so our team are fundamentally optimists by nature. Everything we do is for our users, and because we’re helping to improve something as important as their mental health, we make sure to craft products with the utmost care and highest attention to detail,” the founders said on their website.
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, said: “We believe that the current billion-dollar, first-wave audio solutions are just scratching the surface in solving this problem at scale. COVID-19 has massively accelerated the downward trend we’ve seen in people’s wellbeing, and the 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 company is in an exciting space with global consumer spend on the top 10 earning meditation apps growing from $8 million in 2015 to $195 million last year.