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[StartupRecipe] The Rise of Mental Health Startups in Korea

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Aug. 29~ Sep. 2]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 376.3 billion.

Fairsquare labBlockchain10 billionSeries AHanmiGlobal, KICA
Chungdam MediaContent5 billionNPX Capital
OneofOneLuxury Platform2.5 billionSeries AHana Ventures
Moca&JSDigital Sign-GRANTTIPS
HandysAccommodation management12 billionSeries ASpring camp, DSC Investment, Hana Securities, Feynman Asset Management, E&Investment
ElroilabHyper-Spectral1.5 billionPre-Series AUlsan ICCE, CJ, Sparklab, Magna Investment, Daedeok Venture Partners
CaringSenior care30 billionSeries ALB Investment, SV Investment, DSC Investment, Korea Omega Investment, KB Investment, Ajou IB Investment, NH Venture Investment, Kyobo Securities, Hyundai Investment Partners, Quantum Ventures, HGI, JB Investment, Main Street Investment, Bass Investment, ARK impact
oviceMetaverse40 billionSeries BSBI Investment, One Capital, Miraise, DG Incubation
Music cowFintech-Kiwoom Securities
OwnistBeauty800 millionSeedBon Angels Venture Partners
H-ENERGYEnergy7 billionSeries BKB Investment
100proSenior Care-SeedEnlight Ventures, Y&Archer
Gentle EnergySmart Factory2.5 billionSeries ACapstone Partners, Ascendo Ventures, BlissVine Ventures, KOEF, RSY Advisory
SpectorHR6.5 billionSeries AStick Ventures, Storm Ventures, Strong Ventures, Bass Investments
Beauty selectionInfluencer commerce11 billionSeries AAltos Ventures, Red Badge Pacific

Major Funding

  • Metaverse SaaS platform oVice has raised KRW 40 billion in funding. It is a virtual workspace developer in Japan that can create spaces without further coding. With this investment, it will upgrade its hybrid solution and draw in additional clients, mostly from the United States.
  • SeniorTech startup Caring has received KRW 30 billion investment and leaped forward as a total senior care platform. With the aim of digital transformation of the nursing care industry, it plans to provide nursing services and housing, health care, medical care, and elder care service for people’s healthy golden years.
  • Handys, a company that offers a consignment service for lodging, has secured KRW 12 billion in funds. It has established a one-room accommodation service Urban Stay and its premium brand Le Collective. By 2024, it will have finished 20,000 consignment operations contracts and will continue to expand.

#Trend Analysis

The Rise of Mental Health Startups in Korea

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health services have received increased attention, and associated fields are expanding in Korea. There are many successful companies overseas that have entered the unicorn club and gone public, like the unicorn meditation app Calm, Lyra Health, and Mindstrong. Even though the Korean market is smaller than those abroad, the number of related startups gradually increases as interest in mental health grows and perceptions about it improve year after year. We looked at the key mental health services and their growth strategies.

Startups in the mental health industry typically begin with B2C services like pairing clients with psychologists before moving to B2B for corporate clients. By doing this, they establish a stable business model and develop into a comprehensive service that can manage mental health based on medical treatment. They also ventured into developing digital therapeutics specialized for mental disorders, gradually growing their businesses. The need for mental health startups is rising recently as more businesses look at mental health services as a way to boost the wellbeing of their employees, therefore the growth continues.

Atommerce, a Mind Cafe operator with the largest number of users in Korea, started as a community. It now runs an employee assistance program (EAP) with the goal of developing a platform for integrated mental health care. Atommerce has raised KRW 20 billion this year and KRW 30 billion in total, securing the largest funds in Korea. Humart Company, the company behind the psychological counseling app Trost, began as a psychological counseling service for the general public. It recently launched Trost Care, a subscription service for mental health care for corporate employees that offers unlimited access to psychological counseling conversations for KRW 9,900.

Doctor-founded mental health services based on their expertise are also starting to appear on the market. Inside is a cognitive behavioral treatment program based on medicine and science that aids in mind management, and it is managed by Orwell Health, which was founded by medical professionals and psychologists from Seoul National University. The mental health service MINDLiNG is run by 40FY, which was also founded by a psychiatrist. It draws business clients by offering B2B clients solutions through online testing based on psychological theory. Blue Signum pursues the international market beyond Korea. Its DailyBean app, which allows users to log their daily emotions, has 80% international users. Additionally, Mabo and 2Easy, which offer services based on meditation, as well as Peer, which enables users to maintain their mental health by sharing emotions with others outside of professional institutions, have attracted initial funding and are growing their user bases.

<Mental health care Startups>

Atommerce20 billionSeries B
Orwell Health2.6 billionPre-Series A
40FY2 billionPre-Series A
Humart Company3 billionBridge Round
2EASY1.1 billionPre-Series A
Blue SignumNon-disclosureSeed

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