The spread of coronavirus has made people have real honest conversations about their mental health and anxiety as everyone around the world reacted to the pandemic. The United Nations has warned we could face a separate, global mental health crisis as people deal with the after-effects of the pandemic, such as poverty and grief.
In the US alone, Android users spent over 1.5 million hours in the top three mindfulness apps during the last week of March according to analytics firm App Annie. The likes of Calm and Headspace have been raking in new users.
But it’s not only Calm and Headspace that offer mindfulness and meditation services. Meditopia is a growing app in this space, with a presence in 75 countries and more than 14 million members. Today the start-up is announcing it's raised $15 million (£11.98 million) in Series A funding from one of Europe’s leading early-stage venture capital firms, Creandum, as well as Highland Europe which recently backed UK start-up Farewill.
Meditopia is one of the most widely used and downloaded mental health apps in the world but you might not have heard of it because it caters mainly to non-English speaking markets. The app works with trained professionals in each of its 75 regions, from therapists, and psychologists to meditation experts and writers, to develop bespoke plans tailored to the specific needs and nuance of that culture, language and culture.
“Our mental wellbeing is deeply rooted in our culture and the events happening around us, the way we speak, people we interact with, the community we live in, politics and so on,” said Berk Yilmaz, one of the start-up's co-founders. “These are the main factors that affect our peace. Therefore mental wellness needs to be handled locally, personalised to our local needs and culture.”
The idea is that the app offers what it terms “mental coaching”. Its teams created content designed around specific themes or in response to global or regional events so there are almost 3,000 pieces of content in 10 languages on the app, including Turkish, Russia, Japanese, Arabic and English. For instance, topics such as sexuality are perceived differently in cultures around the world so Meditopia wants to ensure that mental health services provide the resources around a particular topic that are specifically for that culture.
The new funding will help it continue this mission to bring mental wellbeing to more people around the globe, allowing the team to focus on the personalisation of the app and its content, as well as product development.
Co-founder Fatih Celebi added: “From the beginning, Meditopia has strived to be at the frontier of the mind, taking a unique and customised approach to every country, culture, and language that it serves. Sources of stress and anxiety may be universal, however, the way they are discussed and perceived is often very specific to each culture, country, or language.
“We don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all solution to mental health and with Meditopia we’re helping to provide for the long-term deeply personal, complex needs of people across the globe.”