Cairo’s mental health startup Shezlong has raised USD 350 K in a bridge round from 500 Startups, Endure Capital and HIMangel. The startup plans to utilize the funds to expand its services to other countries in the Gulf region. With this round, Shezlong has raised to the tune of USD 509 K by now.
In October last year, it had raised USD 150 K in funding from A15, Endure Capital and Managing Partner of Algebra Ventures, Karim Hussein, in an equity investment.
Founded in 2014 by Ahmed Abu Elhaz and Mohammad ElShami, Shezlong connects users with licensed psychiatry therapists through its web-based platform. This platform is believed to be the first online psychotherapy platform in the MENA region. The users are allowed anonymous videoconference therapy sessions with professional and certified therapists.
This online platform gives an option to the users to book sessions ranging from thirty to sixty minutes. They can have a conversation with the therapists through the startup’s chat or video conference. It is currently charging user anywhere between USD 20 to 75 for half an hour session. The young startup has been using social media platforms to promote the importance of mental health, thus breaking away the social taboo around it. Through its blog, it explains and educates its readers to understand about various topics that can affect mental health.
The startup claims to have over 200 professionals listed on their platform who come from more than 20 different countries and speak seven different languages. As per its website, its services have been used by over 20,000 people from more than 50 countries.
Shezlong is a part of the current batch of 500 Startups’ global accelerator and currently has three of its team members taking part in the program in the Silicon Valley. In 2014, they were incubated at Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) and were provided with an office and USD 9 K to fund their idea.