‘Self-therapy’ startups are blooming in the ‘moderate mental health’ space

Mental health problems — and the tech products which aim at them — come in all shapes and sizes. There are “mental wellness” products like Calm and Headspace. On the more severe side of things there is Cerebral, Betterhelp and, of course, marketplaces for actual, card-carrying therapists. If you have more moderate mental health problems there are players such as Noom (raised $657.3 million) with NoomMood, Nasdaq-listed Talkspace, Lasting and Youper (raised $3.5 million), which offers self-guided CBT therapy.

Also in the CBT field there are chatbots like Woebot (raised $123.3 million) and fournals like Alan Mind that leverage CBT.

In this “moderate mental health” problems space is also Bloom, a New York-based digital mental health “self-therapy” startup that claims it can help with mild to moderate mental health problems.

The startup says its users become “their own therapist” by using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) via video self-therapy sessions, to address stress, anxiety and sleep issues. All the sessions are devised by Dr. Seth Gillihan, author on CBT and Bloom’s head of Therapy and CBT.

It’s now secured a $8 million seed round, led by Berlin-based VC Target Global. Also participating was Elysian Park Ventures, AngelPad and Sequoia Scout, plus founders as Scott Chacon (GitHub), Dominik Richter (HelloFresh), Niklas Jansen (Blinkist), Roland Grenke (Dubsmash), Joshua Cornelius & Mehmet Yilmaz (Freeletics), Ryan Bubinski (Codecademy) and Mariya Nurislamova (Scentbird). So a pretty European lineup of angels.

Bloom’s CEO and co-founder Leon Mueller said in a statement, “Bloom is doing for therapy what Calm and Headspace have done for meditation – making it affordable, accessible, mainstream and everyday.”

He and co-founder Daniel Lohse say they got the idea for Bloom after moving to New York last year and each trying to find therapists.