Israeli-based online mental health support platform Circles, announced on May 10 that it secured $16.5 million in Series A funding to scale up R&D activities to upgrade group matching algorithms and expand its service offerings.
The round was led by early-stage venture fund Zeev Ventures, alongside participation from head of Uber Freight Lior Ron, and existing investors NFX, Flint Capital, and Sir Ronald Cohen.
Founded in 2020, Circles is a subscription-based platform that combines the aspects of professional one-on-one therapy sessions and free online support forums by connecting individuals who are experiencing similar life challenges (divorce, grief, infertility, etc.) with each other alongside a vetted mental health professional in weekly online video groups to receive the emotional support they need. Members of Circles’ platform are granted access to personalized content, including self-help exercises, blogs, and webinars at no extra cost.
Since its launch, Circles now supports thousands of members across the US with hundreds of groups. In the latter half of 2021 alone, the number of paying members increased by 500 percent, causing Circles to recruit four times the amount of mental health professionals.
“There’s something truly incredible that happens when people who are coping with similar challenges get together – and the better the match, the more powerful the group experience,” said Irad Eichler, co-founder of Circles. “With this new round of funding, we’ll strengthen our matching technology to match with more accuracy, increasing each group’s predisposition for success. This will bring us closer to our goal of making everyone, everywhere feel less alone.”
Circles’ platform is especially relevant now due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which the World Health Organization found was responsible for a 25 percent increase in the global prevalence of anxiety and depression. As a result, people have begun turning to mental health apps to cope with the compounding challenge so much so that reports project the global mental health app market to reach $17.5 billion by 2030 expanding at a CAGR of 16.5% from 2022 to 2030.
“Circles is addressing a gap in the market with the powerful yet simple principle of human connection,” said Oren Zeev, founding partner of Zeev Ventures. “Propelled by leadership with proven experience in successful social impact initiatives, Circles has positioned itself to be a market leader, pioneering accessible group support within the mental wellness space. I’m genuinely thrilled to be a part of this unique opportunity.”