The past year has put a headline on mental health, and startup Real is trying to shake up the space with a product that makes group therapy available on demand.
Founded by CEO Ariela Safira, Real is inspired by a long-term methodology in the world of mental health: group therapy. AA, for example, has been around for decades and proved incredibly effective for some. But that format is not readily available on various issues beyond drug addiction.
To deploy the service, Real has raised $ 10 million in Series A financing, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from existing and new investors, including Megan Rapinoe and Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendrick.
Real employs a full-time therapist to lead group therapy on a wide variety of issues, including the discovery of sexuality, anxiety, managing anger with family members, and other real-world issues. With Real, users pay $ 28 / month to gain access to these paths (as Real calls them), allowing users to view these group therapy sessions on-demand and receive journal prompts and other resources gives.
An advantage of this platform is that users can get more strategic advice on these things rather than trying to detect problems. They also feel less alone, as they see others struggling with similar things.
Perhaps most importantly, Real allows users to tap into the conversations and therapies they need at the time they want to.
Safira reported that she may be deep in her thoughts and feelings on Wednesday at 11:00 am, but may not receive a one-on-one therapy session until 2 pm on Monday. His kingdom must have changed. With Real, she can get online and use the right route at the moment.
Interestingly, Real’s research suggests that the majority of people who did one-on-one therapy said that they had gone for general anxiety, relationship problems, and career advice. However, on Real, the top routes are sexuality, motherhood and intimacy. The conclusion is that the things people want to work on the most are not always the things they dig into in a one-to-one setting.
By scaling up group therapy sessions for on-demand audiences, Real has been able to bring down the cost of this type of service, especially when compared to one-on-one therapy.
Real mental health is the product of many years of work in the space. While she was studying for her bachelor’s at Stanford, Safira’s friend attempted suicide. This was the first time he faced the mental health system and it made him wonder why the system was designed the way it was designed. He threw himself inside.
“I’ve spent two to three years figuring out how to make the mental health care system new,” she said. “That, visiting and flying rehab centers, medical offices, architectural firms that have built those spaces so we can learn why we make decisions in mental health care. The bright white walls in the Infant mental health facilities What are the things behind, and if not, is it based on legal constraints or financial constraints? I really wanted to get into the foundations of building a system. “
She dropped out of Stanford, then returned to Stanford, then moved to Columbia for her masters and then out of Columbia to make her Real debut. And the time finally seems right. Real has attracted investment in institutional VCs from big names and big names in general.
“[Ariela] Seen for some time, which is for medicine in the traditional sense, and flipped it on its head to break the status quo, and I thought it was really interesting and innovative, ”said Megan in an interview with Technchurch. Rapino said. “There are obviously a lot of barriers to using mental health services, for various reasons. Hopefully, this platform can make it easier for people to get the help they need. “
There is Rapinoe, but one of the big names invested in Real. She is joined by Gwyneth Paltrow and Eric Kendricks.
Kendricks reported that he never opposed therapy, but learned a lot after meeting his hitherto fans and hearing about his struggles and his family’s struggles, which deal with a variety of mental health issues is.
“Everything was going well for me,” he said. “I was always playing well on the field, and financially, I’m making more money than when I was a kid. But I had moments where I was asking myself a lot of questions in my head and it was a weird Kind of a feeling. I had to take a step back and realize that I was doing something. But based on the conversations I had with my fiancé, I used my resources to find the help I needed and It was amazing. “
He points out that a change in the mindset of society around mental health has paved the way for a product like Real, which is a more active and preventive approach to mental well-being.
But Real is also able to react quickly to the big events of our world. The company has launched a product called Real to the People, which provides free access to the platform during moments of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the assassination of George Floyd and, most recently, anti-Asian hate crimes Spike is included.
Lightspeed’s partner Nicole Quinn reported that the firm had long had an interest in the field of mental health. In fact, LSVP is an investor in Calum.
“The ‘aha’ moment for me was when I saw an alcoholic illness,” said Quinn, who led the round in calm. “You get to go for Alcoholics Anonymous, and you really benefit through the groups. Can we scale and apply the same grouping method to other fields. We have a fundamental belief that yes, you can. “
Real has raised a total of $ 16 million since its launch.