Nauta has just led the €5.5M Series A round in ifeel with the participation of existing investors. ifeel offers the most advanced emotional well-being solution so that more people can enjoy emotional support and benefit from therapy easily, conveniently, and free of stigma.
We have all said it in the past few months, Covid-19 is affecting everyone’s mental health: stress, anxiety, depression, grief, couple counselling, burnout… Mental health is seriously important, but it took Covid-19 for the world of business to understand how critical it is.
Diagnoses of mental health issues have increased drastically over the past few years, and the demand for therapy is accelerating lately. Unfortunately, proper emotional support and professional psychological therapy are currently either not affordable or not easily accessible online in a timely manner.
Besides the impact on the individuals, inappropriate emotional support increases costs and lowers productivity within an organization. Around 6% of the revenue generated by an employee is lost due to poor mental health according to Deloitte’s 2020 Mental Health Report. The annual economic cost of mental health disorders in Europe is currently estimated at €523bn, with around a third of the population suffering mental health issues.
It is, however, difficult for organizations and insurance companies to support their employees and clients’ emotional well-being efficiently and at scale. Employee assistance programs are not very effective, and individuals have genuine privacy concerns regarding the status of their mental and emotional health.
According to ifeel’s research, the global market of mental healthcare is over €1.3tn in 2021, of which 36% is estimated to be successfully addressable via digital means. Since research by Facts and Factors expects the global market of mental health software to reach $4Bn by 2025, we believe there is still plenty of work to be done.
In 2017, Amir Kaplan (CEO), Martín Villanueva (COO) and Gabriele Murrone (CPO) set out to build ifeel because they had seen and/or experienced the pain and expense of getting mental health. They saw a clear, large opportunity for the digital transformation of the mental health care industry.
The industry of digital health and wellness is very hot right now and several players have appeared on the footsteps of Calm or Lyra. However, we have seen that most of these solutions have very low user engagement and retention and are not delivering the right support the users need.
This is not the case with ifeel: we were impressed by their high user engagement and retention. This was achieved thanks to their holistic platform that combines self-care and guided therapies. With ifeel users get access to self-care tools such as daily mood trackers, recommended exercises and activities as well as one-to-one online therapy with licensed psychologists via chat or video. Ifeel has been used by more than 400,000 patients, it is used by more than 100,000 users regularly and 90% of them reported improved emotional and mental well-being after using ifeel.
Additionally, companies and partners that pay to cover their employees or members are finding ifeel’s solution very useful to better understand and enhance the emotional environment of their group. ifeel’s solution can be easily integrated via API and it has already partnered with large companies such as AXA Partners, scale-ups such as Gympass or Glovo, and traditional businesses.
The rise of remote working and flexible employment arrangements as well as the pervasiveness of the digital world in the daily life will increase the need for managers to keep track and support their employees’ mental health.
ifeel’s solution is fully scalable, offers a flexible triage model and local treatment in many languages, and can be white-label or co-branded. According to ifeel clients and various research, such as the aforementioned report by Deloitte, the return on investment of supporting mental health is 500% on average.
Finally, the new generations of workers are more aware of their emotional well-being needs. As Amir says, “a smart emotional support service will be a must-have employee benefit in the near future”. And he must be right, as businesses and insurers are calling to implement ifeel’s solution every day.
At Nauta we invest in things that matter, in entrepreneurs that are solving today’s and tomorrow’s problems. We are proud to support the ifeel team in their mission to democratise emotional well-being. Amir, Martín, Gabriele, welcome to the Nauta family!
By Borja Breña