Contxto – A Portuguese VC firm, Indico Capital Partners, just invested BRL$2 million (approximately USD$507 thousand) into Zenklub, a Brazilian SaaS providing quality therapy. Funds will go towards scaling business operations.
As Portugal’s largest VC fund, this is Indico Capital Partners’ first investment in Brazil. Based on reports, it supported Zenklub based on its advanced software and admirable mission to remedy mental illness in Latin America’s largest country.
Zenclub began in 2016 as the brainchild between Rui Brandão (a doctor) and José Simões (an engineer & Ph.D.). From the beginning, its purpose was to “democratize” access to emotional health care in Brazil.
Since then, the startup has been courageously helping people find support from mental health experts, whether they be coaches, psychologists or psychoanalysts. Sessions last 50 minutes and the average price is BRL$90 – around US$22.
Patients can schedule sessions and choose the appropriate specialist on the AI-powered platform. Users can also easily refine searches in addition to attending sessions via chat or video conference. For added security, everything is fully confidential and encrypted.
Today, there are more than 150 professionals on the platform, all of whom go through a rigorous screening process. This involves personal tests, aptitude exams, and profiling. Once approved, experts can benefit from the full-scale digital office.
One of the most appealing features is how Zenklub reimburses patients with health insurance. The platform is also capable of performing customer service inquiries, payment management, as well as scheduling.
“We can not ignore the impressive number of mental illnesses in Brazil and around the world,” said Brandão, who claims that around 60 percent of users are new patients. That’s to say, they have never consulted a specialist prior to signing up for Zenklub.
“For us, it’s clear that the taboo around these issues is getting smaller and people are more aware than ever.”
Anxiety and depression is a 21st-century health epidemic, according to the U.S.-based World Health Organization (WHO). In Latin America alone, Brazil is the most “depressed” country in the region, not to mention ranking fifth in the world.
An estimated 12 million Brazilians suffer from mental illness. Just in terms of anxiety disorders alone, over 18.7 million Brazilians have been diagnosed.