Shezlong's new platform, Upright, will offer mental health services - particularly e-mental health - to those who are underserved by South Africa’s health care system.
Egyptian startup Shezlong - amongst the largest psychology platforms in the MENA region - has launched a new platform, Upright, in South Africa as part of its global expansion plan.
Founded in 2014 by Ahmed Abu ElHaz and Mohammad El-Shami, Shezlong enables users to connect with licensed therapists through its online platform. Upright will act as an extension of Shezlong to offer mental health services, particularly e-mental health, to those who are underserved by South Africa’s health care system.
“We are proceeding according to a clear strategy and a firm vision towards expansion and growth,” Mohamed Alaa, CEO of Shezlong, tells StartupScene. “We are aiming to make mental wellness a daily routine for every individual in Africa to help build resilient communities, hence, induce a positive impact on the welfare of the society through innovative, accessible and easy to use technologies.”
This expansion follows the startup’s funding round in 2020 from Asia Africa Investment Consulting (AAIC), a Singapore-based investor focused on healthcare startups in Africa. Shezlong has also previously raised $350,000 in a bridge round in 2018.
According to a report by Dealroom, the healthtech startup ecosystem in MENA is now worth $1.5 billion, a 22-fold increase since 2016. Healthtech startups are continuing to take off, attracting a total of $930 million of investments since 2020.
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