Top 20 mental health startups

Health

2020-12-09

Confido

10 minutes

The knock-on effects of the coronavirus aren’t limited to economic downturn or an increasingly overstretched NHS. Many of us will have experienced heightened feelings of anxiety and loneliness, or even depression, due to the pandemic. With one in four people experiencing mental health issues each year, access to support has never been more vital.  

 

The global startup scene has answered the call, with the number of mental health and wellness businesses exploding in recent years. Global VC investment in mental health technology is also on the rise, increasing almost five-fold to reach close to £600m. Funding rounds are also continuing to grow in size, rising from £660,000 in 2014 to £1.92 million in 2019. We’ve even seen our first mental health unicorn emerge (keep reading to find out who!) 

 

There’s nothing we love more than purpose-led startups, and having worked with mental health startups ourselves we’re always eager to learn about other exciting businesses in this space. 

Here are 20 mental health and wellness startups building a better future:  

 

Wellness tech 

Wellness/wellbeing tech is everywhere. Whether it’s a running tracker, a step counter or a meditation app, chances are you’re already using wellness tech to some degree.  

Calm 

About: Calm’s mission is to make the world happier and healthier through their top-rated sleep, meditation and relaxation app. With 50 million downloads and over 700,000 5-star reviews, Calm is one of mental health tech’s shining stars. 

Location: USA 

Company size: 51-200 employees 

FundingIn 2019, Calm raised $88 million dollars of investment. This raised their valuation to $1 billion, making them mental health’s first unicorn! 


Headspace 

About: After Co-founder Andy Puddicombe’s experience as a Buddhist monk, he returned to the UK with the goal of teaching meditation and mindfulness to as many people as possible. After meeting advertising whiz Rich Pierson, the Headspace app was born. 

Location: UK/USA 

Company size: 251 – 500 employees 

Funding: So far, the team has generated a total of $215.9M over eight rounds of funding. 

 

Sleepstation 

About: Can’t sleep? Sleepstation is a clinically validated sleep improvement programme that can help you sleep better after just four sessions. Delivering remote care with a personal touch, the Sleepstation team has helped tens of thousands of people get a good night’s rest.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 11 to 50 employees 

Funding: Sleepstation is part of Born Digital Healthcare, who have won grant funding and been commissioned by the NHS.  

 

Workplace support 

With work-related stress causing more than half of workplace absences, employers are looking for digital solutions to help improve the mental health of their teams. With a range of options, there really is something to suit every need.  

Unmind 

About: Unmind is a workplace mental health platform that empowers employees to measure, understand, and improve their mental wellbeing. Their platform is home to clinically-backed digital tools to proactively improve mental health.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 11 to 50 employees 

FundingThe team haraised a total of $36.2m in funding, with their most recent Series A generating €9.1m. The round came from Berlin-based fund Project A and London’s Felix Capital, and was one of the largest Series A rounds for a European mental health tech business. 

 

Sanctus 

About: Sanctus want to make it easy for employees to talk to a professional about their mental health and wellbeing at work. By placing Sanctus Coaches (or mental health personal trainers) into businesses, they’re able to create a safe talking space for team members.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 11 to 50 employees 

Funding: The team haraised £265k of investment so far.  

 

Spill 

About: Spill use Slack, the workplace communication tool, to ensure employees always have somewhere to turn if they’re struggling with their mental health. Their counsellors and therapists are all BACP accredited and are able to provide support through a phone call, video chat or instant messaging.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 1 to 10 employees  

Funding: Spill has raised £650k of investment through one Seed round. 


 

Support for the whole family  

Mental health is an extremely personal thing, which is why it’s amazing to see so many different startups offering support that’s truly tailored.  

Mush 

About: Dubbed the ‘Tinder for mums’, Mush helps new mums find friends who live nearby with kids of the same age. They can join chat groups, arrange meetups, get advice from parenting experts and fellow mums on the topics keeping them awake at night.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 1 to 10 employees 

Funding: The team have raised £2.9m in total. £2m was invested through a Seed round, and the rest came from their community during a 2016 crowdfunding campaign with Crowdcube. 


stem4 

About: stem4 provides access to free mental health apps and resources to support teenage mental health. They’ve seen over 2m app downloads over 197 countries, with 501 schools signed up to their Head Ed education programme.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 1 to 10 

Funding: In 2019, 25% of stem4 income came from community fundraising.  


 Healios 

About: Healios Mental Health Service is focused on ensuring children, young people and adults have the best chance of achieving their goals and fulfil their life's potential through supporting mental health, emotional wellbeing and resilience. They provide a wide range of psychological assessments and psychological therapy, as well as personalised wellbeing and prevention tools.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 1 to 10 employees 

Funding: Healios haraised £2.2m of funding through one round of investment in 2018. 

 

MeeTwo 

About: The MeeTwo app allows you to talk anonymously about difficult things with other people of a similar age or experience. You can get help with your problems or use your experiences to help others. So far, the startup has helped 40,000 young people with more than 100,000 problems.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 11 to 50 employees 

Funding: MeeTwo has raised an undisclosed amount through a Seed funding round.  


Mind Moose 

About: Mind Moose is an online platform designed to educate kids between the ages of seven and 12 about their mental health. The team are on a mission to help kids develop healthy self-esteem and understand how to manage their emotions.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 1 to 10 employees 

Funding: £65k has been invested into Mind Moose from two rounds with Nesta and Bethnal Green Ventures. 


Community support 

When experiencing mental health issues, it’s possible to become withdrawn and isolated from your friends and family. The following startups are working to help these people reconnect so they can get help from their community.  

HealthUnlocked 

About: HealthUnlocked is the world’s largest social network for health. The team provide a holistic approach to healthcare, so users can take control of their health and connect with people who are experiencing similar issues.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 11 to 50 

Funding: Healthunlocked has generated £5.7m of investment over seven funding rounds.

  

HelloTomo 

About: Tomo is a type of psychotherapy designed to help people with depression build positive habits and break free from unhealthy cycles. The Tomo app helps to track new habits and comes with a built-in community of anonymous supportive peers. 

Location: UK 

Company size: 1 to 10 employees  

Funding: HelloTomo has raised £350k from a pre-seed round with Activate. 


Togetherall 

About: Togetherall is a safe place to talk, share and support others who are experiencing similar issues. As well as access to a supportive community, Togetherall also provides self-assessments and resources, self-guided courses and help from trained professionals.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 11 to 50

Funding: $10m has been invested in Togetherall through one Venture round with FPE Capital. 


The Hub of Hope 

About: Use your smartphone's location to find mental health support near you. The Hub of Hope’s GPS service pulls up a list of local groups in your area and the times you can access them. 

LocationUK 

Company size: 1 to 10 employees  

Funding: The Hub of Hope is a service provided by Chasing the Stigma, who have generated £53.6K of investment.  

 

Exciting products 

The following startups have created some of the most unique products in the mental health space... 

NotOK 

About: The notOK App™ is a free digital panic button that takes the guesswork out of asking for help when you're feeling vulnerable. Up to five trusted contacts will receive a message with your GPS location when you need to reach out for help. If you do not receive a response from your trusted contacts, you have the option of contacting a local warmline or the Crisis Text Line for further support. The app has been created by teenage brother and sister team, Charlie and Hannah Lucas 

Location: USA 

Company size: 1 to 10 employees 

Funding: So far, the team have received $80,000 of funding. 

 

BioBeats 

About: BioBeats has created its own software, app and wearable technology that can track biometric and psychometric data. These devices give wellness scores and help deliver personalised mental health resources. 

Location: UK 

Company size: 11 to 50 employees 

Funding: BioBeats has raised $6.6M over seven funding rounds. 

 

Moment Company 

About: Moment Company have developed the Moment Pebble - a device with a 30-second light sequence which guides you through a short calming breathing exercise. Their goal is to make the practise of taking a moment easy and accessible, both through the Moment Pebble and their online Moment Community.  

Location: UK 

Company size: 1 to 10 employees  

Funding: Unknown 

 

MY3 

About: With MY3, you define your network and your plan to stay safe. With MY3 you can be prepared to help yourself and reach out to others when you are having thoughts of suicide. The MY3 app features resources and a customisable safety plan for you to have on hand at all times.  

Location: USA 

Company size: Owned by Link2HealthSolutions, created in partnership with the California Mental Health Services Act. 

FundingUnknown 

 

Flow Neuroscience 

About: This Medtech company offers medication-free, at home treatment for depression through a brain stimulation headset. Paired with an AI-powered app therapy program, this headset is said to help reduce symptoms of depression.  

Location: Sweden 

Company size: 1 to 10 employees 

Funding: Flow Neuroscience has raised $2.6M over two rounds of funding. 


It’s amazing to see so many innovative startups in this space. We want to do everything we can to help support them and the fantastic work they’re doing. 

If you belong to a mental health startup and would like to have a chat about how we could scale your Product or Tech teams, do get in touch at contact@confidotalent.com 

Have we missed your favourites? Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn, we’d love to hear from you!  

 

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