Moodbeam, a Hull-based health tech start-up, which produces wearable mental wellbeing devices, has received £450k (US$583k) in investment. It follows two rounds of investment totaling £450,000 from NPIF-Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
Moodbeam has developed a new model to help businesses and their staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The support from NPIF and Mercia has been incredible. These investments have helped us to continue to innovate and grow throughout our journey, bringing a valuable product to market at a crucial time for us all,” said Christina Colmer McHugh, Founder and Director at Moodbeam. “This pandemic saw employers around the world enter completely unchartered waters and, in many cases, the ability to gauge the emotional wellbeing of team members from physical cues was lost overnight. Our device has been a lifeline for those businesses and individuals and we’re incredibly proud of that.”
The innovative wearable device, called Moodbeam One, was originally designed to allow users to log their mood and monitor their emotional wellbeing – or that of their children, students, patients, or employees. The device then links to an app, giving real-time insights into how someone’s moods change over time and showing them patterns and trends to help them make positive changes.
The company was founded in 2016 by the Gadget Shop founder and Red5 co-founder Jonathan Elvidge, and former journalist Christina Colmer McHugh, who came up with the idea after her daughter began experiencing anxiety in school.
The initial £200,000 investment in 2019 saw Moodbeam bring its device to market following 18 months of prototype testing. The additional £250,000 funding later that year – £50,000 of which was through NPIF and £200,000 from a high net worth angel investor – provided the resources to develop the dashboard and identify the next iteration of the device and prospective markets.
When the latest production version landed in Q3 2019, a fifth of the stock was pre-ordered by both consumers and organizations. New features in 2020 include a real-time dashboard for team leaders and managers to see quantifiable data across teams to help identify issues or concerns as they happen. These features are already being trialed in the construction and banking industry.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Moodbeam’s new organizational model that has sold in hundreds, rather than single amounts. It has helped businesses stay in real-time contact with their staff members while working remotely, as well as monitoring the health and wellbeing of frontline staff. Consumers have also purchased the device through the Moodbeam website shop and distributor Amazon.
In addition to product development, the NPIF investment has allowed the company to double its headcount in 18 months, from two co-founders to four full-time members of staff and multiple contractors.