Online mental healthcare startup HealthEminds Pvt Ltd has raised angel funding from cricketer Robin Uthappa's Caffeine Ventures. Arjun Goutham, one of the directors of online meal service startup iTiffin, has also participated in this round.
Online mental healthcare startups, as part of the larger e-healthcare space, have been witnessing investor interest lately. In November last year, YourDOST Health Solutions Pvt Ltd had raised $400,000 in seed funding from a group of well-known angel investors including redBus co-founder Phanindra Sama and TaxiForSure co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna.
Startups such as YOURDost, Gurgaon's ePsyclinic, Ahmedabad's OoWomaniya and Mumbai's Type A Thought are capitalising on the anonymity of the online world to convince patients to seek professional help via digital platforms such as chat, videoconferencing and telephonic interaction.
HealthEminds, for instance, offers mental health therapy and wellness advice through its online platform where users can access experts including psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors and life coaches. Users can then book a session with them and have video consultation sessions online.
The startup will use the funds to launch new products, expand its reach across India, and to strengthen its operations team, Ankita Puri, co-founder and CEO of HealthEminds, said in a statement. The company did not disclose the exact amount of funding.
Celebrity support is playing an important role in mental health issues getting necessary recognition, and with well-known names investing their money on startups tackling such issues, this niche segment could soon find more takers.
"Psychologists, counselors have a huge barrier to break in our society and I believe through HealthEminds, we are making it more accessible to people and letting people know it's okay to go through issues in life and to use someone's help to overcome these challenges," Uthappa said.
Last year, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone had disclosed her battle with depression. A WHO report says there were only three psychiatrists per 10 lakh people and around five psychologists per 1 crore people in India in 2011.
HealthEminds was founded by Puri along with Sunita Maheshwari in 2013. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Puri was an investment banker with UBS and has also worked with Teleradiology Solutions. Puri, earlier, co-founded clinical research startup Image Core Lab. A Yale University trained physician, Maheshwari worked with Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital for nine years before launching HealthEminds.
Uthappa is one of the early investors in iTiffin. International cricketer and a one-time teammate of Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh is an active angel investor in the Indian startup scene. Through his $10 million seed-stage venture capital fund YouWeCan Ventures, launched in April 2015, Singh has backed a number of startups including Rahul Yadav's Intelligent Interfaces, Vyomo, Black White Orange Brands , Moovo, Healthians, EduKart, JetSetGo, Cartisan, Sports365, SportyBeans, and Carl's Jr. Most.
Recently, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has invested in a Bangalore-based Internet of Things (IoT) company called Smartron India.