Coming out of our 2018 thematic jammer, we made “therapy” a focus area for new investments. The belief was (and still is) that the concept of exercising your mind was still in the early innings. The insight came from both the growth of our investment Calm and personal benefits from therapy.


It is unsurprising that innovation in the space proliferated over the past few years. Startups have sprung up to make therapy more approachable, accessible, and affordable. These businesses incorporate technology, overcome insurance hurdles, leverage peer networks, improve physical settings, optimize patient-therapist matches, etc. (see below).

Yet, the biggest insight from our deep dive in the space was to look for therapy in the everyday. We recognized that activities outside of therapy services can be therapeutic. To quote Julia directly:

What if we incorporate therapeutic experiences into our daily lives?

“Can activities, products, and services in other categories help us tend to our mental state? Might art, music, sports, cooking, and play bring us solace and promote wellbeing?”

And to that end, we now apply a therapeutic lens to consumer investing. We see it in Catch Co, which exists to rescue people from the indoors. Fishing — the sport and the community — is a form of relief. It attracted us to Slumberkins, a children’s plush toy brand that fosters emotional intelligence and self-care in children and parents.

We continue to look for disruption to traditional therapy services, designed and equipped to address mental health issues. At the same time, we now also consider how our investments outside the therapy space can promote mental wellbeing, too. A lens that also separates novelty products from enduring and impactful brands.

Therapy Startups

24/7 Digital Therapy: Talkspace, Basis, Frame (group therapy), BetterHelp

Therapy Environment: Alma, Two Chairs, Join Real, Octave (shared space for therapists)

Therapist Referral/Matching: Headway, Sonderlife, Frame, Advekit, Group Therapy, Yoni Circle, Quilt

Talk to Someone Who Has Been There: Talk Life, Wisdo, Topknot

Addiction: Tempest, Trigger Health, Quit Genius

Self-Reflection: Shine, Jour

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