There are plenty of ways to improve your mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has made doing so more important than ever. A startup called MindLabs agrees. It wants to use technology to get people to engage with their mental health on a more frequent basis.
Now, the London-based startup has raised $1.8 million in pre-seed funding to fuel its mission. Passion Capital, SeedCamp, and a number of British tech companies all took part in the round. For a startup that was founded this year, MindLabs is already making big waves. The new funding will only amplify its progress.
Easy Mental Health Maintenance
In theory, taking care of your mental health isn’t that hard. Staying away from the news, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking time for things you’re passionate about are all ways to support your mental well-being. Of course, everyone knows that doing those things in real life isn’t easy by any means.
MindLabs wants to change that. Co-founder Adnan Ebrahim says that the startup’s goal is to “make taking care of your mental health as normal as going to the gym.”
To do so, MindLabs is borrowing a page from Peloton’s playbook. The high-tech home fitness company revolutionized the way people think of exercise by combining in-home exercise equipment with virtual classes and workout sessions. MindLabs will try to replicate that formula with a dual-sided strategy of its own.
The startup is preparing for the launch of its main platform next year. It will come in the form of a mobile app that features live and recorded videos of mental health professionals leading mindfulness and meditation sessions. MindLabs’ app will also feature ways for users to track their mental health and stress levels.
Where the startup sets itself apart from competitors like Headspace is its focus on hardware. MindLabs plans to sell an EEG headband that tracks key body metrics to determine how effective the sessions are.
Paying it Forward
Although anyone can suffer from mental health issues, today’s younger generations are especially at-risk. MindLabs understands that. It hopes that the high-tech, mobile-friendly approach will make it easier for young people to care for their mental well-being.
Ebrahim says, “We witnessed firsthand 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.”
“When we saw the alarming statistics in young adult suicide rates and depression, we realized that finding a solution for our own problems would help millions of others, too,” he adds.
With its new funding, MindLabs will continue to develop its mental health and well-being platform. It will be interesting to see how expensive the service is once it debuts. Likewise, the price point of the EEG headband could be a make-or-break factor for MindLabs. Then again, Peloton has shown that people will splurge for expensive hardware if it is backed by a valuable service.
As for the combination of hardware and video content, Ebrahim says, “This has already become the new normal when it comes to physical fitness, with companies like Peloton exploding in growth, and we see the same trend happening with mental wellness, too.”
Keep an eye on this startup as it uses its new funding to launch its platform sometime next year.