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Exclusive: Online counselling startup YourDOST raises funding from SAIF Partners, others

Fund-raising_mukulBangalore-based YourDOST, an online counselling and psychological support platform, has raised $1.2 million (around Rs 8 crore) in a funding round led by venture capital firm SAIF Partners, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle, and filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

Existing investors Aprameya Radhakrishnan, co-founder, TaxiForSure; Phanindra Sama, co-founder, redBus; Subba Rao Telidevara, former partner of PE firm Actis and founder of LotusPool Capital Pool; Vibhu Garg, co-founder, Unicommerce, Paula Ravindra Mariwala, executive director, Seedfund and Gaurav Bhalotia, vice president – engineering, Flipkart also participated in this round.

Following the latest investment, the valuation of the startup has gone up to $5.38 million.

When contacted, the company confirmed the investment, but declined to provide any details on the development. Email queries sent to SAIF Partners did not elicit any response till the time of filing this report.

A formal announcement on the funding is expected as early as Tuesday.

YourDOST had earlier raised $400,000 (around Rs 2.6 crore) in seed funding from a group of angel investors in November last year.

Besides Sama and Radhakrishna, those who participated in that round include Capillary Technologies founder Aneesh Reddy, Smartur founder Neeraj Jawalkar, Seedfund partner Sanjay Anandaram, SoftBank former director Pavan Ongole and nuVentures co-founder Venk Krishnan.

YourDOST, run by YourDOST Health Solutions Pvt. Ltd, was founded in December 2014 by IIT-Guwahati alumnus Richa Singh, along with IIM-Bangalore alumnus Puneet Manuja, Northeastern University alumnus Satyajeet Nandekar and Prakhar Verma, a computer science graduate from BMSCE, Bangalore.

The platform caters to people looking to discuss their emotional issues by providing instant online access to experts with assured anonymity. These experts are life coaches, psychologists and even entrepreneurs and engineers offering career guidance, etc. Users can choose to get into a live chat, find answers over email or book an appointment with the expert of their choice on the platform.

Online mental healthcare startups, as part of the larger e-healthcare space, have been witnessing investor interest lately. In March, online mental healthcare startup HealthEminds Pvt Ltd raised angel funding from cricketer Robin Uthappa’s Caffeine Ventures and Arjun Goutham, one of the directors of online meal service startup iTiffin.

Startups such as YOURDost, Gurgaon’s ePsyclinic, Ahmedabad’s OoWomaniya and Mumbai’s Type A Thought are capitalising on the anonymity of the online world to convince patients to seek professional help via digital platforms such as chat, videoconferencing and telephonic interaction.

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