Online counselling startup InnerHour raises US$450K from VentureWorks and more

Mumbai-based online counseling platform, InnerHour has raised US$450,000 in a seed investment from financial advisory Batlivala & Karani Securities, investment firm Venture Works and others.

Commenting on the investment, Keshav Sanghi, the founder of VentureWorks India said, “What differentiates InnerHour from others is that the two founders have many years of experience. Most startup founders are tech savvy but may not know the core business.”

Founded in November 2015 by Amit Malik and Shefali Batra, the InnerHour platform runs under MindCresent Wellness Ventures Pvt Ltd. and offers online psychological and therapy services on both mobile and desktop platforms.

Amit Malik is a psychiatrist who specialises in geriatric medicine and holds an MBA from the London School of Business. He has previously led the mental health team that provided care to older adults for the NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey, UK and has advised healthcare clients at Allegro Capital Advisors, an investment bank.

While another co-founder Dr, Shefali Batra is a psychiatrist, counsellor, cognitive theraphist and wellness consultant. She founded Mindframes, a wellness clinic and online counselling, psychological testing and training setup in Mumbai.

“Two factors led to the creation of Innerhour – there is a stigma attached to seeking mental health in our country and the need for mental health is massive,” said Amit Malik, the Founder and CEO of InnerHour.

“Tech confers a degree of anonymity, so those worried about stigma feel more confident in seeking support. We are very heavily focused on creating content and programmes around mental health and our plan is to also create anonymised communities where people can get peer support,” he further adds.

InnerHour’s team houses experienced healthcare expert psychologists, who offer both free and paid counseling, as well as experienced healthcare management professionals.

The company claims to have a total of 65,000 visits so far and an active engagement with 30,000 clients since its inception. “It’s our phase one- we are getting people comfortable with the idea of psychological help,” said Batra.

For its next step, InnerHour wants to work with institutions and create customised platforms for corporates, allowing employees to engage with and seek psychological support anonymously.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

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