Mental health app idea that’s ‘like Marie Kondo for your mind’ kicks off with $800,000

- April 6, 2023 2 MIN READ
Modo cofounders
Modo cofounders Maria Sereno, Jo Montanari, Dr Soukayna Bekkali and Peter Haasz
A Melbourne startup that’s hoping to build a mental health app to help people clear their minds has raised $800,000 despite being at least 9 months away from releasing a product.

Called Modo, the startup has been backed by Archangel Ventures, Black Sheep Capital, Co Ventures, Giant Leap Fund, the female founder-focused Alice Anderson Fund, and founders from Culture Amp and Seer.

Modo cofounded by academic Dr Soukayna Bekkali with serial tech execs Maria Sereno, Jo Montanari and Peter Haasz. They’re hoping to offer early access to the app for select users by the end of the year.

Sereno said the app will be like “Marie Kondo for your mind”, with plans to launch it with individual subscriptions in early 2024.

“It’s designed to help people who feel overwhelmed, mentally strained, emotionally spent, or out of control,” Modo’s chief product officer said.

Dr Bekkali is a cognitive neuroscientist and was lab manager at Deakin University’s cognitive neuroscience unit, leaving that for startup life as the startup’s chief science officer.

She’s helping develop the app so it’s like digital card deck designed to help users build healthy mental habits to improve their mental wellbeing and productivity.

While neurocognitive techniques can greatly enhance cognitive control, individuals often struggle to apply them consistently and effectively in daily life,” she said.

‍ Archangel Ventures cofounder Quentin Wallace knows Haasz and Montanari from working with them at Culture Amp.

“I jumped at the chance to work with the modo team on their mission to build a category defining product and solve one of modern life’s greatest problems: How do I achieve my most important objectives without ruining my mental health?” he said.

Black Sheep Capital director Daniel Gavel said Modo’s focus on addressing avoidable stress by changing unhelpful thinking styles resonated deeply with his team.

“We are acutely aware of the long-term impact of stress and actively seek to manage our stress levels. We are excited to support modo’s experienced and diverse team in tackling such a challenging issue,” he said.


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