It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and the topic will deservedly be covered across a variety of media outlets, given the increasing prominence mental health and wellbeing now has in society. This follows a significant shift in perspective around this topic in recent years. Mental health is now viewed by many as being of equal or greater importance as a person’s physical health, and as such the market for consumer tools, apps and platforms, including Unmind, Headspace and Calm, continues to grow at pace.
This shift in behaviour and attitude has supported the growth of workplace mental health platform Unmind, in which True became the business’ first institutional investor in 2017.
Why did we invest?
The reasons for our continued support of Unmind remain the same as when we initially invested in 2017. Dr Nick Taylor’s unwavering view that a person’s mental health was not something to be focused on only in a time of need, but proactively managed throughout life, was materially different to many of the consumer apps populating the space at the time and which remain in play today. Unmind led the charge to say that the approach to mental health should be proactive, and that the conversation should be started and supported by employers rather than consumers having to navigate these issues alone. This resonates well with Corporates as staggeringly, 70 million workdays are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK, costing employers £2.4 billion a year.
Unmind’s premise sits at the forefront of structural changes taking place in society – exactly where True has always looked to invest and operate. This pattern shift in consumer behaviour is only accelerating: in the past 12 months alone Unmind’s revenue has grown 3x and it is now Europe’s best funded workplace mental health startup.
It goes without saying, that Unmind is led by a great founding team. Nick’s singular vision, medical pedigree and commercial acumen, are rare to find in a single individual. He has excelled in the last year in building a top team around him and scaling the business remotely across multiple geographies.
In addition to this, we always ensure we can add value to our investments. As part of our work with Unmind we’ve introduced them to a number of businesses in our network such as John Lewis & Partners, Marks & Spencer and TJX that have all gone on to become paying clients. We have seen consistent success in adoption of the Unmind technology on UK shores and further afield, including for those most in need such as NHS workers through the covid pandemic where Unmind offered their solutions to all NHS key workers for free. Finally, there is no bigger testament of the technology as we’ve adopted Unmind across the True firm and our PE portfolio brands; Ribble Cycles, hush, Cotswold Company, Frugi and Soulfresh with the aim to build happy and productive workforces.
The pandemic has catalysed positive change and demand for Unmind and we believe the opportunity for Unmind to make a positive impact in society will only increase in the years ahead. 70% of employers that were surveyed by McKinsey & Company reported they plan to invest in mental health resources by starting, continuing, or expanding benefits in 2021.
The new capital will be used to develop the breadth and diversity of the platform’s features and content and accelerate Unmind’s international growth. This will be enabled by increasing headcount to 200 people by the end of 2021, across Unmind’s offices in London, New York, and Sydney. We will continue to be instrumental in supporting Unmind’s growth as it scales internationally through our global live network.