Mental healthtech startup BetterSpace raises Rs4.5m pre-seed funding

Growth and optimization of services and tech

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BetterSpace was a part of PedalStart’s ‘Zero-to-One’ cohort (a community-based, outcome-driven programme for supporting early-stage startups)

Raipur, Chhattisgarh-based mental healthtech startup BetterSpace has raised ₹4.5 Million in its maiden pre-seed funding round led by prominent startup community-builder and accelerator PedalStart. Prior to this, the startup had remained majorly bootstrapped.

The company will be utilizing the newly-acquired capital towards improving its existing offline and online services, developing a new product range consisting games and toolkits, enhancing marketing and brand visibility, optimizing technology and the app for boosting accessibility across multiple types of devices, attracting and acquiring talent, among other strategic areas.

Speaking on the fundraise, Shivli Shrivastava and Abhilash Shrivastava, co-founder and director, BetterSpace said, “We are elated to announce our pre-seed round powered by PedalStart – an exciting milestone in the journey of growing BetterSpace. The funds raised through this round shall not just meet our short-term working capital needs, but also ensure our stable, sustainable growth, by enabling BetterSpace to move forward in a cash-positive yet socially impactful manner over the long term. We are immensely grateful to the investors who have placed their faith in us, to help realize our mission and vision of promoting improved mental wellness, emotional resilience and happiness among communities, and thus creating a world where everyone has access to quality mental healthcare, regardless of their background or location”.

“In a country like ours where the growing burden of mental health disorders poses a serious concern, it has become imperative to use technology in solving pressing, real-life mental health related challenges. BetterSpace is committed to doing just, while ensuring quality mental health services delivery in a regional, accessible, and affordable manner to various stakeholders across the society. We at PedalStart have been impressed by BetterSpace founders’ innovative and solution-oriented approach, their commitment to embracing technology, and most importantly, could resonate with their vision of creating and nurturing safe-inclusive spaces through a mix of online and offline initiatives focused on mental health, sexuality and disability awareness. We look forward to extending our continued support to BetterSpace to enable them to create positive social impact at scale,” said Manas Pal and Aditya Darolia, co-founders, PedalStart.

Notably, BetterSpace was a part of PedalStart’s ‘Zero-to-One’ cohort (a community-based, outcome-driven programme for supporting early-stage startups) in 2022. Speaking about the association with PedalStart, Shivli Shrivastava shared, “Ever since our participation in their Cohort, PedalStart has been a constant source of valuable support and mentorship, and even a part of crucial decision-making for the business at BetterSpace. They have guided us in so many ways – from helping us in validating our idea to measuring our impact, organizing sessions and workshops for addressing mental health problems of startup founders and employees, and of course now vis-à-vis fundraising. Looking ahead, we would definitely continue collaborating and being associated with PedalStart and its awesome community”.

BetterSpace provides its psychologist-led counseling, workshops, and community engagement programs, and other initiatives aimed at solving numerous existing mental health challenges in the society. The startup’s standout value proposition lies in their ability to deliver content, therapy and other strategic interventions in multiple vernacular languages, allowing them to resonate with local audiences. Since its inception, the startup has till date facilitated 5000+ offline sessions across schools, hospitals, community centers, corporate offices, et al, positively impacting the lives of more than 2 lakh people (including both children and adults) pan-India.

In addition to that, BetterSpace has already developed its own mobile app, and other self-paced products and toolkits for enabling betterment of mental health and fueling personal growth. In the near future, they are gearing up to launch few more innovative tech-enabled mental wellness solutions, such Imagi box (a therapy box for children having learning and cognitive difficulties), Therapy Pods (dedicated rooms in hospitals to solve the privacy issues for individuals when availing therapy), and a first-of-its-kind mental wellness game for families. Furthermore, they have ambitious plans to grow rapidly and expand operational footprints to at least 10+ Indian states and internationally in the next one year.

BetterSpace combines the power of technology along with strategic human interventions in a bid to build more inclusive spaces (schools, offices, homes, and so on), by enhancing knowledge and awareness about mental health, disability, and sexual health, and developing solutions to solve problems relating to mental healthcare and enabling wellbeing, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence. BetterSpace was co-founded in June 2020 by entrepreneur couple Shivli Shrivastava and Abhilash Shrivastava.

Launched in 2021, PedalStart is a platform that solves a single major problem statement of the ecosystem: building startup founders. The platform helps build founders through their startup ideas, with the help of ex-entrepreneurs, successful startup founders, domain experts, and angel investors.

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