Breathe in, breathe out from Republic

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How are you? No, really, how are you?

If the answer is “I’ve been better,” then you’re not alone. Tired as we may be of talking about COVID, we still have to deal with its effects on our lives.
Feeling stressed or anxious is as much part of the new normal as wearing a mask or waiting for the vaccine. In the US, we’ve seen a 31% increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults since June 2019.
Traditional methods of coping, like support groups, counseling, and meeting with friends, have all moved online and face their own set of challenges. Zoom fatigue, anyone?
To fill the gap, startups are stepping up to the plate. While institutions struggle to respond, real people are seeing the need and changing how we access help or offering new ways of helping altogether.
Deep breaths. The meditation app Calm was downloaded 60 million times in 2020 and recently raised $75M at a $2B valuation from notable VCs like Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Another mental health startup, Lyra, works with employers to offer better services and in-network specialists to their employees. The company just raised $187M from investors, including Fidelity, at a $2.3B valuation. (Almost doubling their valuation in just a handful of months.)
VCs are investing in mental health. Even before the COVID crisis, VC firms were picking up on rising mental health concerns. VC investment in the mental health space has now tripled, from $600M in 2019 to $1.8 billion in 2020. If you’re interested in investing in mental health and wellness startups, keep reading.
You too can invest in the future of mental health on Republic
• Trusst is on a mission to make mental healthcare affordable and available to everyone. They use a combination of pre-recorded virtual conversations with experts and access to a network of professional therapists. 100+ remote therapists are currently available in 35 states.
• MyndVR enriches the lives of senior citizens with virtual reality (VR). It provides all the necessary equipment and a unique selection of VR experiences tailored for seniors. (Think: a 2,000 mile trip down Route 66 called A Road To Remember.) In 2020, their customer base tripled and they partnered with Stanford on one of the largest studies to date on VR and aging.
• WellWell makes functional beverages with formulas for sleep, productivity and focus, and recovery. WellWell’s drinks are low in sugar and contain no preservatives. They’ve had $1.76M in sales, with 49% recurring revenue. (Plus, Gary Vee is an adviser.)
• Surya Spa is an Ayurvedic wellness company. It offers luxury spa services and sells natural beauty and skincare products based on the principles of traditional Indian medicine.
Note: the issuers featured in this newsletter are being highlighted as they all are in the mental health and wellness space. Investing in a space targeted by VCs does not guarantee a return on investment.
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New to investing?

Making your first investment can feel daunting. The Confident Investor wants to change that. Download a copy of The Confident Investor Playbook for new investors to learn the 10 rules for making your first startup investment, regardless of your age, income, or experience.
Historically, investing in startups has been reserved for the elite, super-rich, and well-connected. At Republic, we’re bringing power back to the people by making investing accessible to everyone. Anyone with the right knowledge (and as little as $100) can become an angel investor today on Republic.
The Confident Investor is a partner of ours and is providing you this resource for free.
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Republic Happenings:

• Applications close tomorrow to our Venture Fellow & Associate Program. If you’re interested in learning more about private investing and breaking into VC, we want to support you. We believe in a diverse future of VC and are starting with you. The program starts mid-March.
• Meet the Drapers Season 4 has begun. Watch and invest in startups competing for $500k from the legendary Draper family. Republic is the official crowdfunding partner and companies from the show have raised over $10M. Watch on Youtube or on Game Show Network every Saturday at 8:00AM ET.
• Champions for Change wants women to talk about money. Join Coach Lori Locust, the first woman to coach a Super Bowl-winning team, and Nicole Lynn, the first woman to represent top NFL/NBA players, to talk about building a diversified portfolio, investment goals and strategy. The first event in the series will be Feb 18th. RSVP here.
• AMA tomorrow with Republic CEO Ken Nguyen. He’ll be going live on IG at 12 PM ET to answer your questions. Follow us and tune in at @joinrepublic.

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