Meet Adnan Ebrahim, Co-Founder & CEO at Sleep & Meditation App: MindLabs

MindLabs is a video-first mental wellness app, led by experts and rooted in neuroscience. We help you stress less, sleep better and feel happier, with video classes hosted by a variety of expert instructors from fields such as neuroscience, psychology and breathwork. Today there are over 200 classes in the app, streamed both live and on demand.

Topics covered by our instructors include sleep, stress, anxiety, mental fitness and energy. The app has been designed to provide an accessible way to practice mindfulness, incorporating biomarker data from connected wearable devices to help measure mental health progress over time. We’ve recently launched ‘MindLabs Series’ – collections of progressive classes designed to help you build healthier habits, go deeper on the topics you care about, and see lasting positive change.
MindLabs: Sleep & Meditation by We Are Mind Labs Ltd.

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of building a mental health product ever since I first experienced mental health problems of my own. In my mid-20s, as the founder of a media startup, I dealt with the extreme ups and downs that come from running a business in a tough sector and found mindfulness techniques as a way to decrease stress and make me feel better. Together with my co-founder Gabor, who also successfully remedied his own issues with health anxiety using mindfulness practices, we decided to tackle the growing problem with our generation’s minds.

We realised that while first-generation meditation apps had experienced strong growth as a result of the pandemic, the reality is that they are just scratching the surface of what’s possible. Today, they’re still one-size-fits all, audio-focused solutions with no way to see whether you’re getting better or not.

We decided to build an app which you can use wherever you are; at home, at work or in bed. We believe that the next big wave of mental health solutions will combine digital scale with a more personalised offering.

The phrase ‘mental health’ has often been perceived negatively, and we are passionate about enhancing ‘mental wealth’ by maximising mental performance. MindLabs was created with the goal of normalising working on your mental fitness, and making it as common as going to the gym to improve your physical health.


How has MindLabs evolved during the pandemic?

MindLabs started in the early stages of the pandemic. The business was founded in May 2020, at a time when everyone’s mental health was under strain. Having seen that mindfulness was very effective in managing my own mental health, I wanted to help others to better manage stress and anxiety in their lives. There was a gap in the market for a mobile-first, video-led mental health platform that would give millennials the support they needed.

After building a prototype and beta-testing our product, we quickly discovered the demand existed for a platform like this. Our funding enabled us to assemble a world-class team of experts ranging from healthtech, neuroscience and consumer.

After testing our MindLabs classes online and growing an engaged user base, we launched our app in the UK and across Europe at the end of January of this year, which was a big milestone for us.

What can we hope to see from MindLabs in the future?

There’s a big focus for us in closing the feedback loop in measuring progress. We think that’s key in building a positive habit around improving your mental health, in the same way you can measure progress in the gym by looking at weight loss or muscle mass gain.

Part of closing this feedback loop is looking at valuable biomarker data, which is now ubiquitous thanks to the plethora of connected wearables we now use on a daily basis; from Apple Watches to Oura rings. We believe this captured data not only tells us how we’re doing physically, but mentally too. Valuable markers include respiration rate, sleep quality and heart rate that can be used to serve you with relevant content, right when you need it.

International expansion will also be important for MindLabs, especially in the United States. It’s reported that four million American adults have paid for meditation in the last year despite huge churn in users from first-wave meditation apps. So we know there is pent-up demand from those people who haven’t found the right solution yet.