MindPeers and the mental health startup sector

The startups in the mental health segment are booming as the pandemic has given rise to anxieties, fear, depression, loneliness and more. MindPeers provides therapy sessions starting at just Rs 300.

Kanika Agarwal is a serial entrepreneur. While working towards making her digital consulting firm Digital Passion Peers into a multimillion-dollar company, she had to immediately rush to the hospital because of intense chest pain. In the hospital, she discovered it wasn’t a heart attack but a panic attack. By working tirelessly towards expanding her venture, she overworked herself and started facing severe anxiety issues. Based in Singapore she reached out to talk to an Indian therapist. She thought an Indian therapist would understand her struggle of staying out of India along with her challenges of doing good with her work.

She soon discovered the difficulty of finding a therapist in India. On the contrary, many asked her to keep quiet on her ongoing struggle with mental health due to the attached stigma. Her struggle motivated her to make a promise to herself that, the moment her first company achieves their milestone she would launch her second company in the mental health space. She decided she would make a platform that would make therapy and dealing with mental illness more affordable and accessible to consumers and companies. 

In January 2020, MindPeers was founded in New Delhi with an initial investment of Rs 28 lakhs by Agarwal herself. It is a self-care SaaS platform for individuals struggling with mental and behavioural issues. The platform helps people connect with a qualified therapist at just Rs 300 per session. It also offers TeamCare for corporations to help take care of their employees’ mental wellbeing. They also host MindPeers Boats where one can join virtual support groups.  

MindPeers had raised $200,000 from angel investors from India, the USA, Singapore and Indonesia. Its first institutional investor was 100X.VC, who gave Rs 25 lakh in seed funds. According to The Lancet, 197.3 million Indians suffer from some mental issue yet only $20 million were invested in mental health startups between 2016 to 2020. The startups in the mental health segment are booming as the pandemic has given rise to anxieties, fear, depression, loneliness and more. 

MindPeers has found immense success in the short time since it was launched. They have over 2000 customers every month. The majority of them are women between the age of 18 to 30. They also have 14 corporate clients who use the platform for their employees. Will MindPeers success be able to reverse the mindset of risk capital in the mental health startup space?

Tags : #KanikaAgarwal #MindPeers #100XVC #TheLancet #medicircle #smitakumar #mentalhealth #mentalhealthstartup #affordabletherapy #affordablementalhealth

About the Author

Priyal Shah

Priyal Shah is a graduate of Media from Mithibai College, Mumbai. She is a writer, researcher and avid reader.

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