- Coa, an online emotional fitness studio for live classes and one-on-one therapy, announced it has raised $3 million in a seed round of funding
Coa, an online emotional fitness studio for live classes and one-on-one therapy, announced it has raised $3 million in a seed round of funding. This round of funding was led by Crosslink Ventures with RedSea Ventures and Alpaca VC participating alongside Casper founder Neil Parikh, several angel investors, and professional basketball player and mental health advocate Kevin Love. Coa was co-founded by Alexa Meyer and Dr. Emily Anhalt.
The company’s online Emotional Fitness Studio is going to feature live, therapist-led classes designed to create an “emotional fitness workout” to bolster mental health. And the digital studio’s interactive group classes will start at $25 and foster community while building emotional wellbeing. Each class follows a proprietary “learn, exercise, breakout, discuss” framework built on Dr. Anhalt’s research into the 7 Traits of Emotional Fitness.
Like a gym, Coa will also offer one-on-one support through therapist matchmaking and private sessions with licensed therapists. And before the launch of the online studio, Coa hosted mental health pop-up gyms around the country and offered its emotional fitness curriculum privately to employees at Asana, Spotify, Silicon Valley Bank, and other leading companies. Employer demand for Coa’s emotionally fit leadership and workplace curriculum has grown 900% since March 2020 and the beginning of the pandemic. So far, more than 3,500 people have joined Coa’s waitlist for the studio launch.
The studio’s programming — overseen by Coa’s Head of Emotional Fitness Vaneeta Sandhu, PsyD — is designed to apply to a wide variety of challenges with both drop-in classes and weekly, ongoing series. And the studio curriculum will cater to common challenges like managing mental health in leadership roles, anxiety, imposter syndrome, parenting, and more. Plus Coa will continue to offer free community classes to address timely and culturally relevant needs such as improving BIPOC allyship and addressing political anxiety. Studio programming will kick off with an 8-week Emotionally Fit Leadership series later this year.
Coa’s classes were designed to be an approachable on-ramp to mental healthcare as well as a support system for maintaining an ongoing routine. And individuals who are ready to invest in deeper one-on-one support can take advantage of Coa’s network of therapists and personalized therapist matchmaking process, overseen by Dr. Jamie Goldstein, PsyD — which assists in finding a therapist based on a detailed questionnaire and a one-on-one conversation with Coa’s Therapy Experience team. The matchmaking service is currently available in California with plans to expand to New York and nationally over the year ahead.
This funding round will be used to launch Coa’s online studio, hire a team of therapist emotional fitness instructors, expand program offerings, support ongoing emotional fitness tracking, digital exercises, community features, and to open up brick-and-mortar studios as soon as safety protocols allow.
“On average, people wait 11 years between the onset of mental health symptoms and seeking treatment. Coa is rethinking how we approach mental health to make it easier for people to take that first step and get ongoing support. In turn, this will change the way people approach emotional fitness and hopefully seek support earlier.”
— NBA All-Star and Coa investor Kevin Love
“We know the number of people experiencing mental health challenges is growing exponentially in 2020, yet mental health services remain unapproachable, unaffordable, and hard to fit into the weekly routine. We’re beyond excited to reimagine mental health as something you can work on just like physical fitness. By offering classes that people do together, we’re creating a space for connection, support, and accountability.”
— Coa co-founder and CEO Alexa Meyer
“Mental health is not one-size-fits-all. That’s why we’ve created a curriculum that enables people to go deep, explore their patterns, and leave with actionable insights and tools. Our approach to mental health is not a bandaid, it’s a workout, honed by years of research and work with leaders. We see the launch of our studio as the first step toward making emotional fitness accessible to people from all walks of life, at an affordable price.”
— Coa co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Emily Anhalt