Cairo-based Shezlong, an online mental health platform, has raised a new investment round. The round saw participation from Singapore-based AAIC, which is focused on the healthcare sector in Africa, Mohamed El Khamissy, chairman of MK Capital, and Khaled Ismail, chairman of HIMangel, an angel fund in Egypt and one of Shezlong’s early investors. The amount of the round was not disclosed.
Founded in 2014, Shezlong allows patients to connect with licensed therapists through video calls online. It offers free sessions to assess the patients’ mental health and to detect any psychological problems.
The platform uses cognitive behavioural therapy to teach individuals how to manage stress and anxiety.
The round will enable Shezlong to expand its services in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region as well as to Arabic speaking population globally. In addition, the platform will introduce new products that focus on mental health, including text-based therapy and corporate wellness programmes.
“Mental health is important at every stage of life and our mission in Shezlong is to help people manage their psychological and mental health at all times and make therapy accessible to everyone,” said Ahmed Abu ElHaz, founder and CEO at Shezlong. “We believe that with the new investment, Shezlong will be able to expand its services vertically and horizontally in the Middle East.”
The platform, which currently hosts more than 500 consultants, has attracted ten thousand cases from several countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Germany, and the US. It also has about 100,000 registered users who follow up frequently with their therapists.
“Your mind controls your health. Shezlong has great potential to help bring people back to good health through its platform with its privacy protection. We live in a stressful world with uncertainties such as COVID-19, which has led to increased psychological distress. We are excited to join Shezlong’s journey to address such mental health challenges,” said Shigeru Handa, director at AAIC.
“Besides the peak in demand that is happing during these difficult times, we believe that the number of people who need mental health support is much higher than reported, and the convenience and quality of support offered by Shezlong will uncover these numbers”, said Khaled Ismail, chairman of HIMangel.