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HelloBetter: Becoming the European Category Leader in Digital Mental Health

One piece of advice that we give people that feel stressed, is to consciously celebrate their successes in order to build the resilience required to deal with the constant onslaught of new to dos. Often we forget in the everyday madness of startup life to take a deep breath and look back to see how far we have come.
In January 2020, we launched the HelloBetter brand from scratch. While it took us almost 11 months to generate the first 100.000 visits, we now consistently generate well over 100.000 visits and substantial constant growth – every single month. On social media we have so far managed to attract 20.000 followers across the major social networks.

Strong partnerships: The bedrock for mental healthcare innovation

Besides our longstanding partners, Barmer and SVLFG, we have managed to secure Allianz Partners, Allianz PKV and AudiBKK as new insurance partners and signed a framework agreement with GWQ. Last autumn, we launched our first selective treatment contract, allowing us to offer our treatment courses even prior to becoming officially listed as a DiGA in the context of Germany’s Digital Care Act. Over 100 corporate customers ranging from several DAX companies to SMEs like Visit Berlin, Rebuy and hidden-champions such as Schaeffler offer our courses to 1.5 million corporate employees. In total, the costs for our mental health solutions are now covered for > 15 million people in Germany so that they can receive support through our solutions free of charge.

Growth across all dimensions: team size, clients, revenue

Overall, we have been able to serve more clients in the first quarter of 2021 than in the years 2015-2019 combined. And while we more than tripled client numbers from 2019 to 2020, we already managed to eclipse the 2020 total in the first four months of 2021. Recurring revenue from our core product has grown 5x since last summer. The team has grown to 50 FTE from 7 countries combining a diverse range of personal backgrounds and professional experiences. In spite of the fact that we went through a phase of hyper growth, we managed to keep everyone – employees and applicants alike – happy, as reflected by our Kununu score of 4.7.

What we did when COVID-19 hit: Free mental health support during the pandemic

Moreover, beside running our core business, when Corona hit, we acted swiftly. The crisis amplified already pre-existing problems in the mental health system: the majority of those with mental health problems never receiving adequate care and those trying to seek help facing waiting times for behavioral health treatments of several months. While the crisis led to increased rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, face-to-face care was suddenly not available at all anymore. So we decided that we want to help tackle the mental health consequences of the pandemic: With the generous backing of Allianz SE and supported by dozens of partners, the former minister of health and countless volunteers, we launched the initiative Stark durch die Krise / Calm through the Crisis within days of the first lockdown restrictions. We offered free low threshold psychological crisis support via a hotline staffed with psychotherapists, a digital therapeutic solution designed to help people coping with mental health challenges during the crisis and a social media community. I am super proud of our team and the volunteers who worked tirelessly to support more than 10.000 people who were struggling with their mental health during the pandemic.

In short, it was a hell of a ride. 

At this point, one may wonder, how all of this was done in a year and a half?

In the following I would like to share a few critical success factors that allowed us to achieve all of this in a short amount of time.

  • We brought together a seasoned founding team that combines several decades of experience and a strong network in academia as well as the startup community. 
  • We actively embraced diversity creating a work environment that allows very different types of people to flourish. 
  • We gained deep sector expertise by drawing learnings from doing business in the healthcare industry over the course of more than half decade.
  • We were lucky to be able to build on a unique product range that has been found to be effective in over thirty RCTs, published in peer-reviewed journals over the course of the last decade. 
  • We built a cutting-edge, highly scalable tech solution that empowers our clients to maintain and improve their mental health in a self-determined way. This solution also enables our amazing coaching team to efficiently provide them with support whenever they need it.
  • We secured a solid amount of seed funding from investors with deep industry expertise as well as grants from institutions such as the Innovation Fund of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), The German Ministry of Education and Research and Horizon 2020.

In the coming months, we will fully integrate our treatment products step by step into the standard of care in Germany. This will be a major milestone on our journey towards our vision of making evidence-based, effective and affordable mental health care universally accessible.

If you would like to know more about HelloBetter and the mental health landscape, visit our brand new HelloBetter Insights blog
With HelloBetter Insights we want to share our learnings and analysis with the broader mental healthcare community. We survey the ecosystem, report on promising developments, but also highlight the tough challenges that the industry is facing.

Lastly, it is truly an honour to serve at the helm of this incredibly motivated, uniquely qualified and highly determined team. I am sure that we will one day look back at this time from another mountain peak of our professional lives, proud of what we have been able to achieve together. 

Hannes Klöpper
Founder & CEO of HelloBetter

We hope that this article was insightful for you! We will be sharing each of our articles on our LinkedIn page to further engage with the HelloBetter community. Hence, we invite you to share your perspective on this topic.

Click here for the related LinkedIn post!

We are looking forward to exploring with all of you how digital mental health solutions will redefine the future of care.

About HelloBetter

HelloBetter is a global pioneer in the field of digital mental health. No other provider worldwide has conducted as many clinical studies on the effectiveness of its online mental health courses. With our unrivalled scientific expertise (30+ RCTs) and passion for supporting people with mental health problems, we have already helped tens of thousands of patients to lead better lives. Find out more about HelloBetter on our Company page.

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Our articles are written by psychologists and reviewed by psychotherapists.