Cuéntame has announced the closing of its pre-seed round at $1.1 million, positioning itself as one of the fastest growing startups in the mental-health tech industry in Mexico and Latin America. Founded in 2019 in Mexico, Cuéntame is closing the existing gap in mental health inclusivity in the workplace.
The funding round was led by Impacta VC and included investments from Colectivo Jaguara, 99 Startups, Fondation Botnar & New Ventures, Pareto20, and Investo, as well as multiple angel investors. The next step for Cuéntame is to continue to grow its presence in Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. According to projections, it is expected to grow 12 times its current size by the end of 2023.
So far, the platform has reached 64,000 people in different organizations, including big names like Nestle and unicorns like Kavak and Bitso. The impact of Cuéntame in these organizations is huge; on average, staff rotation has decreased by 60% and wellbeing has increased by 40%.
With this round of investment, it hopes to reach 1 million users within the next 18 months, or as they recently said on their LinkedIn: “We believe we are pioneers in mental health, and we have the firm conviction that discipline and infinite curiosity to learn about our users will allow us to work on our mission to eliminate mental health barriers in all the corners of Latam.”
The initiative’s idea was born after Regina Athié and Fernando Chávez, two of the founders, were discussing their personal struggles with accessing mental health help. It is no surprise that being founded just before the pandemic helped catalyze the growth the company is currently experiencing; as the pandemic has been a key moment in terms of mental health awareness.
There is a huge gap in access to mental health help for individuals, which is especially noticeable in Latin America and the Caribbean, where on average only 1% to 2% of the health budget of countries goes to mental health initiatives. Cuéntame’s platform is helping to show this disparity, as it has reported that 70% of its users are accessing mental health help for the first time in their lives when they join the platform.
The well-being of collaborators has a huge impact in organizations, and the lack of it can lead to loss of productivity, burnout, and absenteeism. In one study, researchers found workers miss on average half a day of work per week due to depression. It is estimated that depression costs employers $31 to $51 billion a year in lost productivity. The Lancet Commission reports, by 2030, the global costs of mental health problems will total up to $16 trillion.
Cuéntame has a human and tech-powered platform that focuses on mental health risk identification, prevention, and resolution. It provides personalized, high-quality resources not only to collaborators but also to their families. Organizations receive wellbeing indicators, which summarize the status of the company in terms of the well-being of its collaborators, pain points, and information about how they can improve to become better employers.
Cuéntame hopes, through its platform, organizations can prevent workforce rotation due to burnout, improve engagement and create a culture of wellbeing that will inspire and motivate people. A hurdle for Cuéntame to overcome is the stigma toward mental health throughout Latin America. Traditional Latin culture, where machismo values are common, often means less willingness to seek professional help. There’s a long way to go in terms of reducing the mental health gap (the difference between the number of people who need care and those who receive care), as the weighted mean treatment gap in Latin America for moderate to severe disorders is close to 75%.