NEW YORK, United States — Emotional wellbeing startup Shine has secured $5m in Series A funding to facilitate growth.
The round, led by existing investor Comcast Ventures also featured participation from betaworks, Felix Capital, The New York Times, Eniac Ventures, Female Founders Fund and BBG Ventures, bringing their total funding to over $8 million.
Launched in 2016 by Co-Founders Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, Shine is an app that sends users daily text messages in a bid to boost confidence and promote self-care. The service which targets millennial women, recently surpassed the 2 million active users mark, across 189 countries.
“When we created Shine, we were tired of feeling alone in the things we knew so many other people (often, the people right next to us) were going through, too,” the company wrote on its website.
“We were tired of hiding our hangups in the name of perfection. All 2 million of you decided you’re done pretending you’re “great” 24/7 — you’re more interested in real conversations about your struggles and the growth that comes from acceptance.”
Tackling areas such as productivity, mental health and self-acceptance, according to Hirabayashi, the service plugs a gap in the market for wellness solutions that speak to people like her.
“We saw there was something missing in the market because wellbeing companies didn’t really reach us – they didn’t speak to us. We didn’t see people that looked like us. We didn’t feel like the way they shared content sounded like how we spoke about the different wellbeing issues in our lives,” she told TechCrunch.
Having experienced 30% growth month-on-month since its launch, despite zero advertising efforts, the startup’s success highlights the rising demand for accessible and relatable products that tackle issues relating to emotional wellness.
Shine, in particular, has been created with those needs in mind. Aesthetically it has been designed to speak to all genders, races and body types — not just in its imagery but also its audio, which is voiced predominantly by women of colour.
“The biggest thing is that we want to meet the user where they are – and we know people are on the go,” Hirabayashi told TechCrunch.
“You can expect a lot more to come in the future around how we combine this really exciting time that’s happening for audio consumption and the hunger that there is for audio content that’s motivational and makes you feel better,” she added.