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Masawa Minute 54

Masawa’s market insights | Let’s meet in Berlin (again) | + More!

This is the Masawa Minute — mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing snippets from what we’ve read the last two weeks + where you can get active.

We hope you’re doing well and staying safe! In this week’s newsletter, you can read all about what to expect from the mental health and digital health markets in the new year, as well as a bunch of other news in the mental health investment world. Enjoy!

Masawa Thoughts

Money is starting to flow into mental health startups! The valuation game is heating up, but is the amount of money raised or the liquidation amounts the only metric we should be quoting and considering?

Let’s ask the Masawa question: what’s the accountability to impact? How are companies and investors nurturing all that cash money to maximize the internal impact — how humans inside the companies are flourishing–AND maximizing the external impact — how the external humans are flourishing because of the companies’ products and services.

We’d love your thoughts!

Startup Spotlight


Sanctus, a mental health coaching startup founded by James Routledge in 2016, just raised £4.25 million from ScaleUp Capital. The startup is on a mission to transform mental health support at the workplace and offers tailored, people-centered coaching approaches that are delivered remotely. ScaleUp is the company’s first institutional investor, marking a significant milestone in its journey to improve people’s mental health through coaching.

Sanctus is planning to use the funds for improving its tech side, intending to make the platform run smoother and present a more flexible product offering. Yet the company is maintaining its human-first approach and utilizing tech to support the human connection rather than rely on it to provide its services. Following the funding announcement, Sanctus’s Founder James Routledge made the decision to transition out of the day-to-day activities in the company and embrace his Board and Brand Ambassador role.


Mental Chatter: Berlin

Once again we invite mental health innovators, enthusiasts, and everyone in between to meet us for an evening of meaningful connection, deep conversations, and creative expression all revolving around the topic of mental health and wellbeing. We’re sure it’s going to be even more special than the last time.

The event, co-hosted with Stillpoint Spaces Berlin, will take place on the 29th of January at 16:00–19:00 CET. If you’d like to join, hurry up and claim your spot now. We can’t wait to see you there!

This Week’s Story

Masawa Market Watch: venture investments in mental wellness surge in the COVID-19 era

a notebook, a wooden bowl with paper clips and a pen

Mental health investments have been rather dormant in the last decade, even though mental health issues were on the rise, and it took a pandemic for us to start overcoming the stigma and make mental health a part of public discourse. But once it happened, it happened fast — according to CB Insights’ State of Healthcare Q2’21 Report, the mention of mental health in news articles increased 4 times since 2019. The same happened with investments — in that period of time, the amount of VC funding going into mental health nearly tripled, jumping from $1.2 billion to $3.3 billion.

It’s important to note that most of the big investments in the mental health space still happen in the US, although Europe is slowly but steadily catching up. According to a study by Newfund, European investments in mental wellness tech jumped from $135 million in 2019 to $524 million in Q3 2021 alone. The sector is expected to grow fast in the coming years, particularly in Europe, where there’s a lot of potential for success as mental health solutions are still lacking. If you’d like to hear more insights into the state of the mental health market as well as its potential, take a look at the full article written by Masawa’s financial analyst Dhruv Khandelwal!

Masawa Market Watch: Venture Investments in mental wellness surge in the COVID-19 era

What else we’re reading…

two pots with small green plants, one is a cactus and the other one some kind of a succulent on a wooden surface in front of a white/cream wall

💫 There’s a lot to be said about 2021 as we’re still settling into the new year and trying to process the marks it left in our lives. Niels Devisscher, Masawa’s Content and Ecosystem Strategist, shares his musings on revelations about mental wellness, Masawa, and, above all, human connection.

🐥 New fund alert! San Francisco-based PsyMed Ventures, a community-focused fund and syndicate investing in psychedelics, just announced the launch of its $25 million investment fund. The fund will invest in early-stage startups working on psychedelics, neurotechnology, digital health, and more.

✨ We already established that digital health is expected to remain hot in 2022, but which particular sectors will attract the most attention (and cash)? From reimagined telehealth to digital therapeutics, the momentum is projected to continue all throughout the new year.

🐝 Headspace Health, the result of a $3 billion merger between Headspace and Ginger last year, has now acquired Sayana, an AI-powered mental health company. It was done in the interest of being able to offer more personalized self-care to its users. Headspace Health plans to continue to expand in the future in order to become the most accessible and extensive mental wellness platform on a global scale.

✍️ Founders often struggle with their mental health, and statistically are significantly more likely to develop a variety of mental health disorders. According to Forbes, there are four main pressure points that are behind this — and that their investors and support networks should know about.

Gabija Vilkaitė

Gabija works as a Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Masawa. She lets her vision of a more just, sustainable, equitable world guide Masawa’s story and inform the work towards transforming global mental wellness to make it accessible and accepted.




Masawa is the world’s first mental wellness impact fund, committed to shifting the established paradigms of investment and mental health support. We invest in founders innovating mental wellness and work with them to maximize impact, organizational health, and financial returns.

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We are the mental wellness impact fund. We invest in companies innovating mental wellness and help them succeed through impact & organizational health support.

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