Wondermind, a startup co-founded by pop star Selena Gomez, is raising $100 million in funds to capitalize on the mindfulness boom.
Serena Ventures, the venture fund owned by ennis icon Serena Williams, led the $5 million early-stage round, which included participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. Brent Saunders, former CEO of pharmaceutical company Allergan, also attended.
Wondermind focuses on “mental fitness” and encourages routines to maintain mental health much like you would go to a gym to stay physically fit.
Ms. Gomez, Hollywood producer and mother of Gomez, Mandy Teefey, and Daniella Pierson, founder of pop culture newsletter Newsette, founded the company after Ms. Pierson met the mother-daughter duo two years ago and hit it off.
“They were so raw and real and vulnerable in terms of their sanity that I was blown away,” Ms. Pierson said. “We all decided together that we have to do something.”
Investors have poured money into mental health startups over the past two years, with total funding in the sector reaching $5.5 billion in 2021 — more than double what it was in 2021, according to data from analytics firm CB Insights Previous year. While having a celebrity endorsement helps get attention, it doesn’t guarantee success. Mindfulness is inherently an abstract concept and competition is growing.
Wondermind’s early offerings include social media channels and a newsletter, which its website says offers “a roadmap to overcoming stigma, changing the way you think and feeling supported.”
Ms. Teefey is working to establish the facility’s production division, which will create and publish content related to mental health. Ms. Gomez focuses on creative direction and marketing.
Physical products that incorporate behavioral therapies are also being developed, Ms Pierson said, without giving details.
Ms. Williams, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, announced her retirement from professional tennis earlier this week to focus on her family and venture capital firm.
She has been investing for nine years and has a portfolio that includes recipe marketplace Foody, children’s social network Zigazoo and cryptocurrency firm Nestcoin.
“We’re obviously going to do more and be a fund that will eventually raise a billion dollars,” Ms. Williams said in an interview. “One thing I’m good at is making a career.”
Ms Williams has been vocal about mental health issues, including anxiety and postpartum emotions. She will also be involved in Wondermind content and will promote the brand when her upcoming projects are released.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/selena-gomez-backed-mental-fitness-startup-wondermind-valued-at-100m-41906382.html Selena Gomez-backed mental fitness startup Wondermind is valued at $100 million