French startup Alan is best known for its health insurance products – they now insure 200,000 people. But little by little it has been building a super application for your health and has expanded with new services. Today, the company announced its first acquisition with the acquisition of Day for $ 20 million. This will be the basis of a new service called Alan Mind.
“More than 13 million people in France face a mental health problem. If you look at people under 35, it’s 3 out of 4, so it’s basically everyone, ”co-founder and CEO Jean-Charles Samuelian-Werve said at a press conference today.
And if you look at the last 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on mental health. Depressed moods and anxiety problems have basically doubled. 66% of people suffer from sleep disorders.
“The question we asked ourselves is: How did we get there?” Samuelian-Werve said. “We see two important themes. First, there has been a chronic lack of prevention that is quite obvious. Mental health has been neglected by public health policies ”.
“The second pillar that got us to where we are is poor service. There are disparities between regions that are very high. In Paris, in some hospitals it can take up to 8 months if you want to see a therapist. In the Rhône-Alpes area, it takes an average of 67 days to book an appointment, ”he added.
And even if you can find the right person, you will often end up spending a lot of money. The French national health system does not cover mental health as well.
With Alan Mind, the startup wants to work on these two areas for improvement. It is a B2B service, so the company is selling access to Alan Mind to its B2B clients, who can then recommend Alan Mind to their employees.
“Do companies have a role to play in mental health? We think they do. Companies are responsible for protecting the health of their employees, ”said Samuelian-Werve. In particular, they came to that conclusion when they realized that lockdowns have affected work-life balance. It’s hard to tell when your workday ends and your personal time begins.
By acquiring Jour, Alan is betting on cognitive behavior therapy. Employees can install an app and begin answering questions to assess their current state of mind. They can find content in the app, express their feelings in words, and work on themselves. There are videos, a dashboard feature, breathing exercises, etc.
If employees feel that this is not enough, they can begin individual therapy with a healthcare professional. Alan Mind lets you book a telehealth appointment. The company has hired a handful of psychologists so you can make an appointment in just a few days.
Of course, companies never know that someone on the team has used Alan Mind. But HR teams receive an anonymous report every month. It’s not about spying on employees, but rather about identifying common problems and providing ideas for prevention workshops.
Alan Mind is just getting started as the company only has five clients for this service: BioSerenity, Brut, Joone, Opal, and Talk. Companies pay € 5 per month per employee if they are already Alan’s clients, or a little more if they just want Alan Mind.
As for Jour, the B2C app will continue to be available on the App Store. The startup has attracted 2 million downloads prior to its acquisition. It has a slightly different positioning and will be helpful in identifying areas for improvement for Alan Mind.