Shezlong, the Cairo-based startup which provides a platform for mental health support, just announced a new founds round. The investment was from Asia Africa Investment Consulting (AAIC), an investor based in Singapore who is focussed on African health startups.
Other participants to the funding round were Mohamed El Khamissy (who has a history investing in health and wellness startups within Europe, Middle East, and the United States) and HIMangel (an angel fund based in Cairo).
In a 2018 bridge round, Shezlong raised $350,000. The investment attracted a $100,000 grant from Expo 2020’s Innovation Impact Grant Program.
Shezlong was founded in 2014 by Mohammad ElShami and Ahmed Abu Elhaz. The app allows users to discover and speak to licensed psychiatry therapists on their web-based platform. Users can book an hours-long voice and video sessions with over 500 therapists currently hosted on their platform. As a user, you have the option to hide your identity with a therapist and maintain anonymity.
Thus far, the startup has received over 10,000 case requests from different countries i.e, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United States, and Germany. They claim to have over 100,000 registered users on their platform who frequently follow-up with the therapists.
Platform users are regularly given free assessments to help them understand their mental health while identifying psychological problems. The Egyptian startup relies on cognitive behavioral therapy to teach individuals how they can manage their anxiety and stress levels while offering relaxation techniques such as positive self-talk and deeper breathing.
Shezlong will utilize the new capital infusion to expand its services across the region with a focus on the Arabic speaking populations too. Other products expected to be introduced are corporate wellness programs and texting-based therapies.