The sector, which has existed for more than five years but has yet to take off, has attracted investments and progressed in developing new services for patients and companies.
According to the business, the pain caused by factors such as social distancing caused by Covid-19, fear and grief encouraged more search for service, while restrictions on face-to-face counseling reduced the resistance patients and psychologists had towards. For virtual help.
Tatiana Pimenta, of startup Vittude, says her business has accelerated five years in one year. The company was made up of seven corporate clients that support the service of its employees for more than one hundred.
She says the pandemic has caused deteriorating mental health for employees to affect corporate costs and productivity, which has made them look at the sector. “Mental health is no longer something people don’t want to discuss and it has become strategic and critical.”
The profile may also change. Pimenta says that before they were startups looking for the service, they were already sought after by multinational companies.
Another difference is that the startup is now investing in developing training and lectures to deal with mental health with executives and corporate mental health diagnostics.
Pimenta says Vittude has been sought after by investors and is expected to announce the money injection in the third quarter of this year.
In conjunction with the growth of the sector, ZenKlub raised investments of 61 million reais during the pandemic, in fundraising rounds announced in May of last year and February of this year.
Roy Brandau, partner in the startup, says the new fundraising came after such a short period because the startup met its goals earlier than planned. He says that before the pandemic, the company had 15 corporate customers. Now there are 265.
As a result, the total number of calls on the platform grew 12 times and reached 60,000 per month, says Brandau. The startup structure was also changed to suit the new scenario. ZenKlub increased from 15 to 100 employees.
Brandao attributes the growth of this sector, on the one hand, to the collapse of prejudice regarding online treatment caused by social distancing, and on the other hand, to the suffering caused by the epidemic. “He who does not feel any emotional impact with everything we go through is not a social being,” he says.
In addition to providing online consulting, ZenKlub invests in producing its own content on mental health, including videos and podcasts on topics such as meditation, breathing, sleep, productivity and driving. In the catalog of the startup there are names like Monja Coen and Mario Sergio Cortella. Part of the content is free and another part relies on subscription to access.
In addition to the investments, the sector also saw Live Psychology, for online therapy, and joining Conexa, for telemedicine, at the end of March.
Fabiano Carrigo, President of Psicologia Viva, says the company has grown from 6,000 consultations per month in January 2020 to 90,000 in March of this year. With that, it jumped from 25 to 150 employees.
The startup is testing a mental health app that will be introduced to large companies. Among the topics to be covered in the service, he adds, are financial health, meditation and mind training.
The company also aims to provide client companies with mental health indicators, anonymous information regarding the reasons for seeking advice and its impact on absenteeism volume and team productivity.
Also as business accelerates in the pandemic, the startup Eureka, which joins the curative care franchise network, online educational content for psychologists and a book club on the topic, has jumped from 4 franchisees at the start of the pandemic to 42 in 2021, according to partner Julio Fruta Lisboa. .