When the founders of nue.life, a next-generation mental health startup, announced they had raised $3.3 million four months ago, they promised more details in coming months. Today, they are announcing a broader vision for the Miami-based company as well as some key growth and funding milestones already reached.
The startup, which is officially launching its brand at the Wonderland: Miami conference today, tackles mental health and well-being by leveraging emerging technologies to drive better outcomes, says co-founders Juan Pablo Cappello and Demian Bellumio, two well-known Miami tech entrepreneurs involved in multiple startups over the years. When they were looking for a big problem to tackle earlier this year, they couldn’t help noticing that most people they knew were struggling on some level with mental wellness and trying to get into a good mental state, Cappello said. “We began to think about how we could try to create a new paradigm around mental wellness, one that actually tried to treat the root cause of suffering and rather than just masking the symptoms.”
In light of telemedicine taking off during the pandemic, advances in AI and personalized medicine, and the growing body of positive medical research coming out about the use of psychedelics such as ketamine for treating mental illness, the co-founders believed the time was right to leverage all three of these realities and create a very different Miami healthcare-technology company, said Cappello. Bellumio created the platform to do just that.
Since founding nue.life as a public benefit corporation and acquiring My Ketamine Home six months ago, nue.life has grown revenues 500%, Bellumio said. The company has treated 2,000 patients and administered 10,000 ketamine therapy experiences, and in addition to operating in Florida and California, nue.life has now opened in Texas, Colorado and Washington state, with more states coming onboard before the end of the year. Four of the five co-founders live in the Miami area.
The company has now raised about $6 million in funding, which includes the $3.3 million capital raise announced in June. With high-profile tech investors Jon Oringer, Shervin Pishevar, Jack Abraham and Martin Varsavsky already on board, the cap table now also includes real estate developer Moishe Mana, hotelier Alan Faena, NBA star Joakim Noah, and Papa CEO Andrew Parker, among others, Bellumio said.
“We are taking the work that [Dr. Kazi “Zayn” Hassan] did originally with My Ketamine Home and layering our experience and ability to bring together these amazing investors that have made Miami home, but also all the expertise that we have in technology,” said Bellumio.
The nue.life app will take customers through the entire medical onboarding, telemedicine consult, and therapy, he said. They will be able to use the app to access wellness content and information related to therapy. “We built our own music service from the ground up with proprietary algorithms created by very experienced musicologists to accompany that person through the therapy,” Bellumio said.
The service has fully secure tele-messaging so the patient can always reach out to nue.life staff 24/7. It also connects to Apple Watch and soon to Whoop and more devices. With survey information and biofeedback, the idea is to create a daily dashboard for users to understand how they’re doing holistically in their mental health journey, Bellumio said.
“I really want to make Miami the capital of mental health – that’s my personal goal,” said Bellumio, who founded the popular Miami Tech Life group as a passion project to connect the new and existing tech community. “What I’ve seen is a lot of people move here because they want to improve their quality of life and I think Miami is the perfect city to build this really ambitious company.”
Expect a 360-degree approach to mental wellness from nue.life, Cappello said.
“With the rebrand, we are moving to a next-generation mental wellness company that leverages ketamine and music therapy and telemedicine and teletherapy on a digital platform,” said Cappello. “Being involved in this project with Demian, Christina Getty, who’s one of the co-founders and my partner, and Zayn just really feels like I’m beginning to, in my mid 50s, find ‘my why’.”
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