Mindler, Sweden’s largest digital mental health platform, recently succeeded in raising €8 million in Series A funding. The company, which noted a steep increase in demand for psychological services since the COVID-19 outbreak, has secured backing from Ventech and Schibsted Growth to aid in their European expansion.
WHAT THEY DO
The startup, founded in 2018, aims to make psychological help available to whomsoever may require it. By downloading a free smartphone app, Swedish citizens can book a video CBT appointment with a verified psychologist who is matched with them by a short questionnaire without a referral.
The company prides itself on a quick turnaround, with users rarely having to wait more than 24 hours for an appointment. Subsidised by Swedish health authorities, each 25 minute session costs only 100 kr (€9) and is free for those who hold a Frikort (a pass which entitles users to free healthcare).
WHAT IT’S FOR
Mindler plans to use the money to support the development of the platform and open it up to other European markets. At present, the service is only available to Swedish and Dutch residents over the age of 18. The funding will help the company, who already have 250 employees across Sweden and the Netherlands, to expand their reach and improve their service.
“Each cent invested will go to provide more access to even better mental health care,” said CEO and founder Rickard Lagerqvist. “We will now accelerate our efforts to simplify processes, reach more patients and further develop our treatment platform.”
Currently, there is a surge in telehealth platforms being used to combat poor mental health and accommodate remote consultations during the coronavirus pandemic. This has seen new investments, acquisitions and partnerships between service providers to help expand their reach.
This is a spike in a growing trend of mental health tech investment, which has increased almost five-fold in the last six years.
ON THE RECORD
For Lagerqvist, it was the lack of accessibility to psychological services that spawned Mindler. “Mental health is one of the major societal issues of our time […but] access to psychologists remain[s] highly limited outside metropolitan areas. By bringing psychologists to patients, we are pleased to bridge this widening gap […] providing more equal access to high quality mental health care, regardless of where you live.”
In a press release about the funding boost, the two key investors expressed their admiration for Mindler. Tero Mennander from Ventech said: “Mindler’s rapid growth and traction proves the need for specialised digital psychology services today. Ventech is excited to partner with Mindler to accelerate international growth, providing more Europeans with access to quality mental health care.”
Kajsa Gatenbeck at Schibsted added: “We believe Mindler has what it takes to fundamentally impact patients’ mental health for the better. With a fully digitised patient journey, Mindler has the potential to increase quality, effectiveness and access to mental healthcare for patients. With Mindler, hopefully even more people will not only get the help they need but also better care.”