A new mental health startup has secured £50,000 investment towards finalising the app’s development. The app is scheduled to launch in the UK by the end of the year with one goal in mind: to remove as many of the factors that stop people accessing mental health support.
New app Superpow! aims to reduce barriers to accessing quality therapy, in part by pairing users with therapists from a similar cultural background. The startup raised almost 120% of its £50,000 target on Crowdcube from over 280 investors. The funds raised will be used to finalise development, enter the market and accelerate growth.
The online platform was co-founded by Gabriel Birgaoanu and Andrei Stoica. The two friends were motivated to Superpow! after experiencing their own metal health challenges as well as issues accessing culturally appropriate therapy services.
Andrei, who is originally from Romania, explains:
“When I was experiencing mental health issues in the past I tried a number of different therapists, but it never felt right. Yet once I found a like-minded Romanian therapist everything changed. I no longer had to give short cultural lessons about Romania or search for the English word which bests describes a feeling. The experience was life changing for me.”
“We are lifting up the barriers we personally had to face in the past so others do not have to come across the same obstacles when seeking mental health support, no matter what their background is.”
Gabriel echoed this sentiment:
“We are not saying that everyone needs mental health support from a specialist of the same cultural background. Some might feel the opposite. But at least we want to give people the chance to choose.”
In addition to pairing users with therapists from similar backgrounds, Superpow! offers total flexibility with its payment model. The app will not ask its users for a monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription, or for a set number of sessions like many therapists do. Instead, payments are made for each session, so users have the freedom to have as few or as many sessions as they need.
Even the name – Superpow! – and comic book style branding was chosen in order to make their service seem less daunting and clinical for users. It is the co-founders’ belief that each of us has the power to overcome mental health challenges and we are all our own superheroes.
The app is also designed to be easy to use, especially the matching process. After responding to five multiple-choice questions, users will be able to choose from a list of therapists and book their first session from that therapist’s calendar.
The app will launch on the App Store and Google Play.