Are you feeling more anxious lately? As life gets hectic with more and more distractions, it is important to be mindful of what’s going in and outside our bodies.
A report by the World Health Organisation last year found that one in four of us will be affected by mental and neurological disorders during our lifetime, putting mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
Being mindful is nothing but living in the moment, being conscious of our feelings and thoughts as they happen. Listening to our thoughts and emotions can help you in many ways you can’t even imagine. However, being mindful needs a bit of practise and well, there are tons of apps out there to help you.
Meditopia: Backed by Spotify investor
One such app is Meditopia, a platform that takes a highly localised approach with each of its wellness programmes, tailoring them to the needs of individual cultures and languages.
Recently, the Turkish-German startup raised $15 million (approx €13 million) in a Series A investment co-led by Creandum, Europe’s leading early-stage VC firm and early backer of Spotify, iZettle, and Klarna, and Highland Europe, the European growth investor behind matchesfashion.com, Zwift and Wolt.
The company is planning to use this funding to focus on further product development, machine learning, and engineering. Carl Fritjofsson of Creandum and Fergal Mullen of Highland Europe will join Meditopia’s Board of Directors.
Mental coach platform with subscription model
Founded in 2015, Meditopia is a mental coach platform that provides guided meditations, music, and contemplative content in a therapeutic context to improve mental wellbeing.
In an exclusive interview with Fatih Celebi, the co-founder, says, “Meditopia offers thousands of content in 10 languages with its subscription model. Some of our content is free to access, but we offer more extensive content to our members, who pay a subscription fee on either a monthly or annual basis.”
Co-Founder Ali Murat said: “Mental wellness is something everyone should be able to achieve, regardless of their country of origin, native language, socio-economic status, ethnicity, or religion. We first focused our efforts on our home country Turkey before expanding worldwide so whether you are Latino, Japanese, Russian, North American, or Arab, you can find support and coaching in our global community.”
Carl Fritjofsson, Partner at Creandum said: “The social media age we have experienced enabled users an endless focus on others. We’re now experiencing a new wave of technology which allows users to turn their focus inwards on themselves. We’ve followed Meditopia for the past two years and have been incredibly impressed by how they’ve been able to capture this opportunity across the world, all while being one of the most capital-efficient run companies around.”
Fergal Mullen, Founding Partner at Highland Europe said: “The coronavirus pandemic has thrown mental health into stark view but there has been a mental health crisis bubbling under the surface for decades. For too long, the technology available was created for English-speaking groups alone. Meditopia provides the alternative; a solution that helps its members get to the heart of what they need in a way that suits them. We’re thrilled to be a part of getting this vital service to those people.”
Unique for its highly localised approach
According to the company, most meditation and mental health apps were built and written to largely suit the needs of English-speaking, making them less useful for other demographics from different cultures and countries.
In this regard, Fatih Celebi, explains, “We realise that topics such as sexuality, body positivity, relationships, etc. are perceived differently by different cultures. In order to make our programs relevant and effective for our members, we take a highly localised approach when creating our content. We don’t just directly translate each meditation; we go through each line with a native speaker and mindfulness and meditation expert and tailor the content, including wording, terminology, references, and approach so that it resonates with our members and their country, environment and the culture.”
Tailored according to the needs
Unlike other platforms, Meditopia is built on the idea that how your mind works are tied to who you are, the language you speak, and your culture. Notably, the mental health platform offers bespoke, personalised services.
Talking about mental health trends and meeting consumer demands, Fatih Celebi states, “Because mental health and wellbeing is such a broad topic, there are many different approaches. We meet the different consumer demands across the regions we cater for by listening to their needs and concerns, having conversations with them, and tailoring our offering accordingly.”
Since launching in 2017, Meditopia has created over 3,000 pieces of content in 10 languages – than any other mindfulness and mental wellness platform globally. The startup employs therapists, psychologists, meditation experts, and writers from each region to create highly-tailored content designed around specific themes or in response to global or regional events.
14 million users across 75 countries
Since its inception, Meditopia has grown to 14M users across 75 countries and has experienced 10x year-on-year growth in sales. About the plans, Fatih Celebi, expresses “We are continuing to focus on providing the most timely and relevant coaching experience for our community. We will continue to expand to other languages and geographies this year and deepen our presence in the existing languages and geographies.”
How Meditopia handled COVID-19?
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the United Nations has warned that we face a global health crisis as “millions of people are surrounded by death and disease and forced into isolation, poverty and anxiety.” There was a 25% surge in people downloading meditation apps in April 2020, compared to January.
Right now, Meditopia employs around 40 people and hiring, but at the same time aims to maintain a lean structure. Certainly, all business establishments, regardless of their establishment and type of industry, have been already affected greatly by the coronavirus pandemic. However, it seems to be the straight opposite for Meditopia.
About handling COVID-19 pandemic, Fatih Celebi, briefs, “During the pandemic we saw a surge in downloads and subscriptions and many organizations and companies reaching out to us to provide their employees or customers with access to Meditopia. We realized that we had a responsibility to help our members, new and old alike, to cope with all of the changes, fears, and challenging emotions they were experiencing. Our team created customized meditation programs specifically tailored to help members manage their COVID-19 experience (e.g. #StayHome Collection & During Hard Times program). Additionally, we worked with our local partners to create talks, meditation challenges, and videos to provide different perspectives, exercises, and techniques to help cope with this stressful situation.”
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He further added, “We also offered all teachers, students, healthcare professionals, and small businesses free premium memberships; and for larger companies, we provided considerable discounts on memberships for all of their employees and/or customers. For some of the organizations, we also hosted live meditation sessions for their customers/employees to attend.”
“As for our team, even as we transitioned to working 100% remotely, we quickly adapted and knew that we’d have to take extra care of one another so that we could rise to the occasion and go above and beyond to offer our members these tailored programs and services, with a quick turnaround.”
Main image credits: Meditopia