The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact us in ways that stretch well beyond our physical health, and one side effect of that in the tech world has been a surge of attention for apps that address mental health and help with mindfulness. According to a recent report from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the world’s 10 largest English-language mental wellness apps in April saw a combined 2 million more downloads during the month of April 2020 compared with January, reaching close to 10 million total downloads for the month.
Among market leaders such as Calm and Headspace that have become big hits was a name that may be a little less familiar: Meditopia. Quietly, it has become the most-downloaded meditation app in non-English speaking markets.
Today the eponymous Istanbul and Berlin-based startup is announcing some funding to continue driving that growth — a Series A investment of $15 million co-led by Creandum and Highland Europe. Carl Fritjofsson of Creandum and Fergal Mullen of Highland Europe will join Meditopia’s board with the deal. Total funding prior to this round was $3.2 million, and this new round takes the total raised by Meditopia to $18.2 million.
The meditation market — quite paradoxically, when you think about it — is kind of chaotic and crowded. Meditopia’s unique selling point within that, however, has been that it has majored on localization for 75 global markets, in 10 languages, with a focus on long-term mental well-being programs. In a world in which English has for some become something of a questionable lingua franca in tech, that’s helped it stand out and pick up more users and gain scale. In the three years since it launched in 2017, Meditopia has grown to 14 million users across 75 countries.
Until recently, most meditation and mental health apps were built to suit the needs of English-speaking, Western culture, especially in the way these apps dealt with topics such as gender.
The startup was founded by Fatih Celebi, Berk Yilmaz and Ali Murat Ceylan.
In a statement, Murat said: “Mental wellness is something everyone should be able to achieve, regardless of their country of origin, native language, socio-economic status, ethnicity, or religion. We first focused our efforts on our home country Turkey before expanding worldwide so whether you are Latino, Japanese, Russian, North American, or Arab, you can find support and coaching in our global community.”
Carl Fritjofsson, partner at Creandum commented: “We’ve followed Meditopia for the past two years and have been incredibly impressed by how they’ve been able to capture this opportunity across the world, all while being one of the most capital-efficient run companies around.”
Fergal Mullen, founding partner at Highland Europe, said: “For too long, the technology available was created for English-speaking groups alone. Meditopia provides the alternative; a solution that helps its members get to the heart of what they need in a way that suits them. We’re thrilled to be a part of getting this vital service to those people.”