UNIQA Ventures invests in iFeel
UNIQA Ventures leads 10 Million Euro round in mental health leader, iFeel of Spain
15. Nov. 2022
It’s been almost two years since UNIQA Ventures started to actively look into the mental health space for potential investment opportunities. We are truly excited that after all this time, with iFeel, we‘ve found what we were looking for: a strong European player with a B2B2C mental health platform that has something special to offer for all of it’s different stakeholders. In the coming few paragraphs therefore instead of elaborating long on the growing importance of mental health solutions in general, and on how big this market segment already is and projected to be – you can find a lot of information within a few clicks – I would like to focus on why iFeel was appealing for us at UNIQA Ventures and why we are truly happy to be part of their journey going forward.
Product stickiness, zero churn
We found that iFeel is a strong partner for big- and medium sized companies, not just another service provider. It is not only because the company successfully addresses the growing need of HR managers to provide mental well-being support for their employees and through this increase their attractiveness as employers and to operate more efficiently with less sick leave days, but also because iFeel becomes a real partner along the way. When talking with one of their clients, Glovo, we learnt that iFeel not only successfully identified the worsening mental conditions of their workforce in parallel to the breakout of the war in Ukraine, but was also able to react fast and scale up the Ukrainian speaking psychologist pool and provide more timely support for those in need within their organization. After successes like this, product stickiness increases, and switching costs become much higher. The company’s zero churn speaks volumes about how they work with their clients and what they truly offer.
In any business, where 1on1 sessions are involved, scaling efficiently can be a challenge. iFeel was able to develop from the combination of one billion processed data points and from clinical scoring a proprietary algorithm that fuels their triage model to screen user need for prevention, self-care, or intervention. With this “1-to-many professional care” model all stakeholders can save time and address problems at the right severity. It becomes possible to address every individual‘s need at the right intensity level and through the right channel. This feature allows the company to serve big clients with many end-users at once, while allowing automated and personalized support along with 1on1 therapy, still, keeping attractive business margins. An additional important element to their successful scaling is being able to attract 1st class licensed professionals at scale (currently 600+ in 22 languages). They achieve this by the system they set up for them: 1st class training sessions and workshops, community, and the opportunity to grow. With this value proposition they are able to choose the best psychologists: iFeel only works with 7% of all applicants who would like to join them.
Founders, as so often when investing, were one of the most decisive factors. The three founders, Amir, Martin and Gabriele decided to build iFeel when meeting and bonding during their MBA. They were brave and persistent enough to iterate away from their initial B2C business model to a B2B2C one, which provided them with the margins they aimed for. We see colleagues at other funds who would see this journey from 2017 as too long. But given the trends we see in B2B sales in general, compounded by the special characteristics of the healthcare sector, we see it as reasonable. The three founders over the last couple of years have managed to successfully scale up their B2B business line by doubling revenue each year, with current clients from 6 countries and of high profile (Glovo, Axa, SCOR RE, Gympass etc). They not only did it, but also managed to keep the great dynamics and division of labor as managers between themselves. (The kind of founder calls where all participants feel authentic and a great and honest vibe comes across.)
Today, with close to 1M attended users and 20M exchanged messages carried out, iFeel is already a relevant player. As mental health challenges are part of our life wherever we live, we, at UNIQA are grateful to be part of iFeel’s journey and are looking forward to work with the team to further scale the business and seize a huge market opportunity by helping corporate clients that struggle to manage mental and emotional wellbeing of their members.