Shezlong raises investment to expand its operations to help mental health

Cairo-headquartered Online Mental Health Platform - Shezlong - has raised a new investment to expand its services in the Middle East and North Africa region as well as Arabic speaking population globally, and to introduce new products that focus on mental health including Texting-Base Therapy and Corporate Wellness programs.   

The new investment came from AAIC – a Singapore based investor who is focused on the healthcare sector in Africa, GCC based Mohamed El Khamissy – Chairman of MK Capital and an investor in a number of health & wellness and sports entities across the Middle East, Europe, and the US, and Khaled Ismail, Chairman of HIMangel, the leading angel fund in Egypt, which has focused on health-tech and is one of Shezlong’s early investors. 

“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. We believe that with the new investment, Shezlong will be able to expand its services vertically and horizontally in the Middle East”, said Ahmed Abu ElHaz, Founder and CEO of Shezlong. 

Founded in 2014, Shezlong allows patients to connect with licensed therapists through video visits online. It offers free assessments in order to assess the patients’ mental health and to detect any psychological problems. 

“I am excited to be part of this deal with Shezlong; a much needed online service amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought with it a lot of emotional pressure. I believe that having a balanced mind and body is essential for individuals to live a healthy lifestyle, and Shezlong along with its professional therapists offer the perfect platform for that”, said Mohamed El Khamissy, Chairman of MK Capital.  

In addition, Shezlong uses cognitive behavioural therapy, which teaches individuals how to manage stress and anxiety and provides them with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and positive self-talk that individuals currently need especially under the Covid-19 situation and the anxiety it created due to uncertainty and social distancing. 

“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 of AAIC.

The platform, which currently hosts 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. 

“HIMangel has invested early in Shezlong and decided to join this round too as we continue to believe in the mission of the company, serving people who need mental health support. 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.

An encouraging 33 startup deals took place in May 2020, which was an increase of 93% compared to April. This was largely driven by the Misk500 MENA Accelerator, which graduated its third batch of startups. Discover more details in our May 2020 Dashboard Report.