Mumbai-based InnerHour has raised $5.2 Mn in its Series A round from venture capital firm Lightbox. Lightbox led the round with $4.5 Mn commitment, while Capricorn Ventures, Micasa Investments, Medanta CEO Pankaj Sahni, Info Edge India CEO Hitesh Oberoi, True North’s Ashish Bhargava, Oxford Lifesciences also participated.
Earlier, the startup had raised seed funding from Batlivala & Karani Capital, Venture Works India and angel investors Nikunj Jhaveri, Rahul Rege, Pallavi Kaul. In 2019, it was named to Facebook’s AI Accelerator programme.
The startup will use this funding to scale its technology-led mental health platform and develop an omnichannel approach across the entire mental healthcare chain. Founded by Dr Amit Malik in 2017, the startup saw social entrepreneur Neha Kirpal join as cofounder in 2019. InnerHour’s self-help platform offers self-awareness support through free assessments, a range of cognitive behaviour therapy or CBT-based self-help tools, personalised content and support communities. In addition to digital self-help tools, it also offers live therapist sessions in eight Indian languages through a network of 120 therapists across 60 cities in India.
“We believe a tech-led ecosystem that offers seamless continuity of care and support, is very much the need of the hour for the millions suffering and seeking quality mental healthcare today. This round of funding gives us the opportunity to further build our omnichannel products & services, catering to a range of mental health conditions,” said founder and CEO Dr Malik.
The company added that India accounts for a third of the global burden of depression, addictions and suicides and there is a 95% treatment gap due to key barriers. Diving into the investment into InnerHour, Sandeep Murthy, partner at Lightbox, wrote the startup’s 28-day digital programmes have shown meaningful decreases in symptom reduction, citing example of 23% reduction in the level of anxiety, an 18% reduction in the severity of depression and a 17% reduction in stress levels. Murthy added that despite one in six Indians facing mental health issues, the segment is not organised and continues to face stigma and infrastructure issues.
“The critical lever in this business is that InnerHour can provide care at every touchpoint in a coordinated manner with a technology and data-driven backbone that drives process innovation to deliver better outcomes faster.” – Lightbox’s Sandeep Murthy,
Mental health issues among Indians have been exacerbated amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In the mental health startups space, InnerHour will use the funds to better compete with the likes of Curefit’s Mind.fit, Mindhouse, YourDOST, YourHour, Headspace, Google-backed Wysa and more.