Fika, the employer-led mental fitness training platform, has raised £1.2 million from lead investor Rising Stars, as well as a syndicate of ten expert angel investors from the US and UK including Biogen board member, Brian Posner, who will join NCFE’s Chief Executive, David Gallagher on Fika’s board as its new Chairman,along with founder of Accomable, which exited to Airbnb, Srin Madipalli, and health tech angel, Pam Garside.
Fika, founded in 2017, is specifically focused on mental fitness – not mental health – with a mission to make mental fitness as normal and necessary as physical fitness. It is the brainchild of Nick Bennett and Gareth Fryer who both have a personal passion for mental fitness. While Nick has experienced first-hand the devastating toll that poor mental health can take on someone having lost his best friend to suicide, Gareth has faced intense mental health challenges facing a cancer diagnosis – twice. Fika has onboarded 70+ clients since January this year including leading retailer, DFS, demonstrating the demand for its proposition.
According to research from Deloitte, 52% of people quote ‘business as usual’ – everything from prioritising their workload to meeting deadlines – as the main reason for a decline in their mental health. Fika is challenging the prevailing narrative around mental health as an unavoidable and overwhelming crisis by highlighting the global mental fitness skills gap facing millions of people.
The Fika platform has been designed to prevent – not treat – mental health concerns by supporting the 80% of the workforce who fall between workplace perks and Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs). Fika is empowering employers to support this huge percentage of employees who categorise themselves as ‘fine’, but who, in reality, are rarely given the tools to deal with everyday challenges.
More from News
- Find Joy On Your Drive with New Headspace Experience on Waze
- What Can Happen In One Internet Minute?
- Revealed: Tears of Joy Emoji Is Nation’s Favourite
- Logitech Partners With Calm for Tech Wellbeing Initiative
- Crypto’s Answer to the Industry’s Lack of Knowledge and Trust
- Tech Sector Opportunities Boom for Multi-Skilled Workers
- Mythical Games Teams Up With Uphold To Enable Crypto Payments on its NFT Marketplace
- UK Boasts Most Small Businesses in Europe
Through its intelligent, scalable platform, Fika provides employees with a series of short, personalised and evidence-based courses, developed in partnership with performance psychologists. Employees receive personalised training pathways aligned to their personal and career goals based on the seven skills of mental fitness to increase focus, confidence, motivation, connection, meaning, positivity and stress management. To date, the courses have proven to increase focus by 15%, motivation by 14% and engagement rates have averaged at 70%.
Fika is looking to serve the $16 trillion market created through declining mental health across education, the workplace and healthcare. The £1.2 million in funding will go towards expanding the team across all business functions, driving its first go-to-market strategy, as well as supporting further R&D, particularly the development of its mental fitness technology, diagnostic tools and AI-driven personalised pathways.
Nick Bennett, co-founder of Fika, said: “You would never run a marathon without training, yet employees are consistently being put under pressure to perform their role without the relevant mental fitness skills or training. Our goal is to empower businesses to introduce a ‘day one duty of care’ towards mental fitness that reaches every employee. By bringing scalable performance psychology to entire businesses, our platform prevents the risk of psychological injury to human and financial capital and keeps employees safe and healthy.”
Gareth Fryer, co-founder of Fika said: “We are delighted that Rising Stars and others have backed our mission to mainstream mental fitness. This investment is indicative of the impact our technology is already having, and will give us the opportunity to bring mental fitness into the mainstream so every employee, regardless of their role or financial circumstance, has the ability to train for life’s everyday challenges.”
Brian Posner, Chairman of Fika said: “The mental health market is a huge and growing market, but it’s clear that for all the support out there, millions of people are falling between the cracks. We are seeing a clear trend towards a need for sustainable skills development for mental fitness and post pandemic duty of care. Fika is putting the tools into the hands of employers so mental fitness training can reach people at scale. I am delighted to be joining as Chairman and look forward to seeing Fika go from strength to strength.”
Jo Shawcroft, Group People Director at DFS commented: “If the past 18 months has taught us anything, it’s that mental fitness is a skillset worth investing in. So much change has happened in such a short space of time and having the relevant tools to help strengthen our team’s mental resilience is important. What we particularly like about Fika is the short but very impactful daily training coupled with the ability to create personalised pathways to meet every individuals’ needs – this is invaluable in a business like ours that not only moves at pace but has such a diverse workforce across retail, supply chain and manufacturing. Our trail shows Fika is resonating really well with employees and initial uptake has been significant”.
Simanta Das, Managing Director of Rising Stars, said: “Existing mental health support tools have had huge success but have only reached a small segment of the population to date. Fika is prioritising the groups that don’t traditionally engage with other mental health solutions. Its employer-led training platform inspires leaders to role model positive mental fitness habits and in doing so, encourages individuals to take personal responsibility for their mental health to proactively fight mental health decline. The passion from the founders and Fika’s potential to impact so many lives made it an attractive investment opportunity for us and we are delighted to be part of their journey.”
Fika’s angel investors include:
New investors joining this round:
David Kaliber. Founding partner of AQR
Patrick Collier Managing Director at ClearBridge Investments
Michael Fairbairn Partner at 8 Dimension Ventures
Pam Garside. Healthtech angel
Srin Madipalli Founder of Accomable, which exited to Airbnb
Brian Posner Board member of Biogen and Arch Capital.
James Lewis Founder and Managing Partner of Shard Capital Partners LLP
Christopher Carter Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley
Nick Finegold Ex Managing Director of Deutsche Bank