Sipra Laddha and Shama Rathi, the co-founders of femtech startup LunaJoy, are both psychiatrists and sisters in law. After struggling with postpartum depression and experiences the many problems with today’s mental health care in the US, they founded LunaJoy, a mental health startup that just announced its $2.4M seed round.
LunaJoy is focused on the needs of women during different life stages such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause and anything in between. The company connects patients with medical providers who can virtually assess their needs and provide a range of care options, like holistic therapy, psychiatry, and mental health coaching – all of that via voice or video call.
Today the company has insurance contracts with Cigna, Aetna, Humana, and Magellan and is licensed in 17 states. So far, over 1,000 clients have used the service. LunaJoy has seen rapid growth since its launch in 2021, raising $1.9M within a month of Laddha and Rathi joining the Y Combinator that year.
LunaJoy Co-founder Sipra Laddha noted that while seeking funding from venture capital firms some investors did not see the potential in the women’s health market, while others intuitively understood the problem and the need for a solution like LunaJoy. Laddha told Axios: “People who understood the problem deeply got it within 20 minutes, but [there were] people who still really think of women’s health as niche and not a market opportunity,”
Naseem Sayani, co-founder and managing director of Emmeline Ventures, was among the latter group. Sayani, who is also from a culture where discussing mental health is taboo shared with Axios: “We come from these cultural dynamics where you don’t talk about mental health, you don’t say the words out loud and ask for what you need. … To be able to bring that service to women in our cultural background is very powerful for us.”