Originally published by Calcalist on May 24, 2022
Circles, which has developed a platform for online group emotional support, announced on Tuesday that it raised $16.5 million in funding in a Series A round led by Zeev Ventures, with participation of Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, along with existing investors NFX, Flint Capital, and Sir Ronald Cohen. Circles was founded by CEO Irad Eichler and CRO Dan Landa. It raised an $8 million Seed round last August. Circles is a subscription-based platform where people experiencing similar life challenges such as divorce, grief, infertility, etc. are matched into cohorts and meet weekly via group video chat to give and receive emotional support, guided by trained and vetted mental health professionals.
“There's something truly incredible that happens when people who are coping with similar challenges get together – and the better the match, the more powerful the group experience,” said Irad Eichler, co-founder of Circles. “With this new round of funding, we'll strengthen our matching technology to match with more accuracy, increasing each group’s predisposition for success. This will bring us closer to our goal of making everyone, everywhere feel less alone.” The pandemic increased global prevalence of anxiety and depression by 25% as well as deepened an epidemic of loneliness. Due to its negative economic consequences and the stress from global shakedowns, people turn to mental health apps for their benefits in coping with mental health problems escalated by these and other adverse life challenges. The global mental health apps market size is expected to reach $17.5 billion by 2030 expanding at a CAGR of 16.5% from 2022 to 2030. Group support has been proven to be an effective measure in coping with depression, lowering reported negative psychosocial outcomes, improving overall physical and psychosocial health conditions of patients and their families.
Circles supports thousands of members across the U.S. with hundreds of groups. The platform launched in 2020, and in the last half of 2021 alone the number of paying members has increased by 500%, with the company recruiting four times the amount of mental health professionals to facilitate the growing increase in the new groups.“Circles is addressing a gap in the market with the powerful yet simple principle of human connection,” said Oren Zeev of Zeev Ventures. ”Propelled by leadership with proven experience in successful social impact initiatives, Circles has positioned itself to be a market leader, pioneering accessible group support within the mental wellness space. I’m genuinely thrilled to be a part of this unique opportunity.”