Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddah launches startup for mental health

Pooja Khanna and Pankaj Chaddah

Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddah and his wife Pooja Khanna, have launched an app for their meditation startup Mindhouse that focuses on mental health and wellness services.

The startup was launched in December with physical meditation studios but Chaddah had to shift to an online model this year because of the lockdown due to covid-19. It is now focusing on scaling up its digital services.

The Gurgaon-based startup aims to provide meditation-based mental health solutions to urban Indians, with techniques that help combat stress, improve sleep patterns, sharpen focus and increase overall productivity. Mindhouse hosts live, guided meditation sessions on its mobile app. It also offers yoga classes and has a catalogue of pre-recorded audio content.

“Mental health has come to the forefront with the ongoing covid-19 crisis and the space has seen a huge surge in demand. While numerous other entities are offering solutions in conjunction with broader healthcare programs, there is a very clear need for a more singular, dedicated approach to mental wellness, which is what Mindhouse is focused on,” said Pankaj Chaddah, co-founder, Mindhouse.

Chaddah, along with Deepinder Goyal, started Zomato in 2008 and quit after 10 years. He continues to serve as a member on the board of directors at Zomato.

Chaddah did not disclose the funding details. However, according to an Entrackr report, Mindhouse raised about ₹15 crore from a bunch of individuals in April while Chaddah himself invested ₹10 crore in the venture.

The financing for the company has come at a time when its operations have been impacted severely because of the covid-19 pandemic.

During the lockdown, Mindhouse worked with employees of more than 500 companies from across a wide gamut of industries to provide online meditation and yoga services.

Built for beginners and advanced meditators alike, the app recommends content based on the user’s selected goals from sleep, patience, focus, relaxed mind and relaxed body, and their past experience in meditation.

Chaddah and Pooja Khanna, also a former Zomato executive, are eyeing the international market too as meditation is as popular as yoga globally.

Chaddah plans to focus his efforts towards the digital channel for the foreseeable future. “We see growth coming in from both – corporates and individuals. Companies are giving the mental well-being of their employees more importance than ever, and the awareness even at the individual level has taken a huge leap forward in the last two years, “ he added.

According to recent surveys, up to 50% of corporate employees feel stressed, and as per a NIMHANS study 5% of the urban metro population suffers from a stress related disorder.

The Mindhouse team expects 70-90 million urban Indians to inculcate meditation into their wellness routine and spend $50-60 annually on meditation and related products, taking the current market potential to $4 billion. The space will grow in double digits for the next few years, taking the market to $10 billion in the next 5 years, Chaddah added.

The app is available on Android and IoS. Mindhouse competes with other health and fitness startups like Cure.fit.

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.