Shimmer Co-founders Vikram Sreedhar & Chris Wang. Image: Shimmer

The neurodevelopmental condition known as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is massive; according to the renowned ADHD authority, Dr. Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., 13 million American adults (4-5%) deal with its impacts every day. ADHD may make it difficult to regulate emotions and complete everyday tasks at work and at home. It often leads to anxiety, depression, relationship problems, personal/professional stress and disruption, substance abuse, and more.

The impacts of ADHD disproportionately affect women, BIPOC individuals, and those from lower-income families. For example, 50-75% of women with ADHD go undiagnosed and there are massive trickle down effects to self-esteem, self-worth, and other conditions like anxiety and depression. Medication is frequently prescribed to treat ADHD and it can be extremely helpful, however the modern approach advocates for mixed treatment which includes coaching.

To help the millions of adults dealing with the challenges associated with ADHD, digital health startup Shimmer, an online coaching platform designed for adults with ADHD, has now secured $2.2M in seed funding to enhance its AI-driven services. Shimmer’s approach combines live sessions with expert ADHD coaches and AI tools to create personalized strategies for members. The platform aims to assist individuals in setting and achieving personal and professional goals, focusing on long-term changes like relational health and career advancement.

The funding round, co-led by Worklife Ventures and SeedtoB Capital, with contributions from Koa Labs, Aglaé Ventures, and Gaingels, will fuel the company’s AI-focused product development and support a scientific study on ADHD coaching outcomes. Part of the Y Combinator 2021 spring cohort, Shimmer has received a total of $3.5M in funding to date.

Shimmer’s Co-founder and CEO, Chris Wang, who has ADHD, emphasizes the company’s mission: “Living with ADHD can be isolating and challenging. At Shimmer, we’re dedicated to providing the support and tools needed for individuals to feel empowered and successful. Our platform is designed to be a powerful tool to help people reach their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.”

Since its launch in October 2022, Shimmer’s expert ADHD coaches have provided more than 15,000 coaching sessions to a global audience. The company also provides pro bono coaching to government agencies, universities, and several nonprofits. Going forward, Shimmer plans to expand its services to companies building inclusive environments for their workforce.

Xenia Angevin, Shimmer’s principal coaching psychologist, highlights the company’s evidence-based foundation: “We are elevating ADHD coaching as an approach. Our coaching ecosystem leverages the latest science to help achieve a better quality of life and manage ADHD-related challenges that get in the way of focusing on what is important. We’re excited about our new scientific study which will research what works in ADHD coaching. This is an area that needs more reliable, valid, and evidence-based practices.”

After six weeks of participation, 83 percent of Shimmer members said they were better able to manage their ADHD. Shimmer memberships are HSA/FSA-eligible and five to 10 times more affordable than standard ADHD coaching.

Worklife Ventures General Partner and Shimmer investor Brianne Kimmel recognizes the scope of the ADHD population and how Shimmer can be an effective strategy to manage the condition: “ADHD affects a huge number of adults, only a fraction of whom are diagnosed when they are young. I understand what it is like to live with ADHD as an adult. We’re proud to invest in the company where its platform can be a tremendous addition to the treatment options now available.”

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