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Egypt’s Online Mental Health Platform Shezlong Raises New Investment

Founded in 2014, Shezlong has seen a huge uptake amid the COVID-19 lockdown, leading to interest and investment from several parties.

Egyptian online mental health platform Shezlong has announced a new investment of an undisclosed amount, from Singapore-based investors AAIC, along with GCC-based MK Capital and Egypt’s HIMangel - one Shezlong’s earlier investors.

This deal comes off the back of a $150,000 investment deal by A15 in late 2016, and a bridge investment round of $350,000 in 2018, led by 500 Startups, Endure Capital and HIMangel, alongside two private investors. The new investment will be used to expand Shezlong’s services in the Middle East and North Africa region as well as the Arabic speaking population globally. It will also be funneled to expedite the introduction of  new products that focus on mental health including text-based therapy and corporate wellness programmes.

“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”, explains Ahmed Abu ElHaz, Founder and CEO of Shezlong.

“Your mind controls your health. Shezlong has a 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 increasing psychological distress. We are excited to join Shezlong’s journey to address such mental health challenges”, adds Shigeru Handa, Director of AAIC.

The platform, which currently hosts 500+ consultants, has already 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.

“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,” adds Mohamed El Khamissy, Chairman of MK Capital.

Shezlong’s licensed therapists use 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, so it’s no surprise the current pandemic has seen a big uptake in users.

“HIMangel 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 happening 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,” explains Khaled Ismail, Chairman of HIMangel.

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