A number of sexual health startups have spun up in recent years offering men discreet help with the awkward issue of erectile dysfunction. Companies like Numan and Roman. But "help" in this context usually means making it easier to get hold of drugs like Viagra.
U.K.-based startup Mojo has been taking a different tack. It's built a subscription service to support men's sexual well-being by providing on-tap access to dedicated therapies -- partnering with professional psychosexual therapists to provide online courses that are billed as offering a longer-term solution to male sexual health problems versus just popping some blue pills.
This approach means Mojo sits within a wider digital health trend where the smartphone in the pocket is being appropriated by app makers to deliver targeted, non-pharmaceutical support -- be it for insomnia, dietary needs, musculoskeletal disorders, mental health or indeed sexual well-being. (The latter category includes dedicated apps for women, too.)
The idea driving all of these startups is to offer people a viable alternative to Big Pharma. (And hopefully eat some of the drug companies' lunch in the process.)
Mojo's support platform is geared toward a spectrum of issues that can affect men and have links to their sexual well-being -- with digital programs not just geared toward erectile dysfunction but other sexual problems like porn addiction or anxiety more generally.
So it could be an interesting "way in" -- to encourage men to explore wider psychological issues by accessing support services. (Men are a notoriously difficult group to get into therapy but erectile dysfunction is likely to be a trigger for a lot of therapy-shy individuals to seek support.)
Mojo's quarterly subscription service (costing £49/$68 every three months) provides access to professional resources that Mojo bills as "unobtainable for most." It also describes its app as a "virtual coach" -- saying it's aiming to "encourage men to reclaim their erections and have great sex without resulting to a medication-first approach."
The digital support package includes video courses and exercises, therapy podcasts and meditations, and live events -- including the chance to connect directly with Mojo's panel of sexual health experts and the wider community of men using the app. A dedicated community reduces the stigma that men may feel around discussing intimate health issues -- since other users are likely to be experiencing similar problems.
The 2019-founded startup says it's signed up "close to" 50,000 users across 36 countries so far.
It's announcing seed funding today to step on the growth gas.
The £3.25 million ($4.4 million) round is co-led by London early-stage fund Kindred Capital and Octopus Ventures. Angel investors in the round include some familiar names in the European startup world, including Tom Blomfield (Monzo), Julien Callede (Made.com), Ian Hogarth (SongKick), Freddy Macnamara (Cuvva), Alex Rose (Let’s Do This) and Errol Damelin (Wonga).
Commenting on the seed funding in a statement, Kamran Adle, health investor at Octopus Ventures, said:
Taboo areas within health continue to be a key area of interest for us, as there is often high latent demand due to decades of underinvestment. Men’s sexual health is a perfect example of this, creating a huge opportunity for Mojo to challenge the stigma and move beyond pills to a much broader, sustainable and scalable solution.
In another supporting statement, Maria Palma, general partner at Kindred, added:
We deeply believe that the strong founding team at Mojo can redefine the conversation around male sexuality and vulnerability. It is clear from their early evangelical user base that they have created a product which resonates with men all over the world and helps them transform their confidence, relationships and their everyday lives.