YourDOST, an online emotional wellness platform has raised close to $400K (INR 2.5 Cr) in an angel round of funding from investors like Phanindra Sama (Redbus founder), Aprameya Radhakrishna (TaxiForSure founder), Aneesh Reddy (Capillary founder), Nagesh Grandhi (Hyderabad Angels) and more.
YourDOST plans to use this amount of fundraise in its marketing and expansion needs.
Started in 2014 by Richa Singh in partnership with Puneet Manuja and Prakhar Verma, YourDOST is a technology startup that aims to establish a unique platform for mental well being and emotional support. The startup connects experts to people who look to discuss any kind of emotional issues while providing them required anonymity.
Richa Singh, co-founder & CEO of YourDOST.com said, “With YourDOST we aim to create awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental wellness in our society. We all face problems, stress and anxiety at some point in our life, but mostly we are not willing to talk about these fearing social implications, being judged and for the fear of being judged. We are confident that technology combined with empathy and right kind of experts will go a long way in helping people going through a various emotional and mental challenges and equipping them to better deal with it.”
YourDOST has close to 70,000 users which is growing at about 40% month-on-month basis. With 10,000 registered users currently, a team of 75+ experts service around 300 one to one interactions on a daily basis. It is also available as a mobile app on android platform.
Addressing the Gap
Access and awareness towards mental and emotional wellbeing is very restricted in India and comes with several taboos associated with it. Here are some facts highlighting this challenge:
- 1 in 5 people in India need counselling either psychological or psychiatric.
- For an estimated 70 Mn+ people living with psychosocial problems and disabilities, there are less than 50 government mental health establishments.
- According to WHO report in 2011, 1 out of 7 people in India was suffering from depression in 2015, this has seen an alarming rise with 20% of Indian population being depressed today.
- 50% of corporate India is suffering from chronic stress. ASSOCHAM highlighted that the rate of emotional problems such as anxiety and depression has increased by 45-50% among corporate employees in the last eight years.
- 4 in 5 people suffering from severe mental ailment choose not to treat it.
This huge need gap and Richa Singh’s personal experience of a friend losing her life at IIT due to placement pressure led to birth of YourDOST, to provide people with convenient yet anonymous access to experts consisting of life coaches, psychologists and other experienced individuals. Through this online platform which is available as a free service both through web portal and mobile app, users can choose to get into a live chat, find answers over email or book an appointment with the expert of their choice.
YourDOST was among the top 5 startups that pitched at our event, StartupPulse, held in Bangalore in May this year.
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