June 30, 2022

Ashley Edwards Breaks New Jersey Record For Second Time In $1.8M Seed Round

Founder and CEO of mental health tech startup MindRight Health, Ashley Edwards, has raised $1.78 million in seed funding. The funding round led by investment platform Lifeforce Capital included existing investors Acumen America and Impact America Fund. New investors included Hopelab Ventures, Gaingels and Impact Assets, and Pivotal Ventures. 

Edwards previously raised $1 million for MindRight Health in 2020. In doing so, became one of only 35 Black women in the US, and was reportedly the first Black woman in New Jersey, to achieve this level of VC funding. This latest round brings Edwards’ total funding to nearly $2.8 million.

Founded in 2019, MindRight Health uses text messaging to provide young people with mental health coaching, empowering communities to heal from trauma and live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. The digital platform is designed to make mental health as accessible and inclusive as possible.

The initiative has helped transform psychological rehabilitation and introduced systemic healing for youth of color, from dismantling white supremacy to teaching radical self-love to those who may experience confidence or self-esteem issues.

“I saw how much trauma students in my community were going through,” said Ashley Edwards, CEO of MindRight Health, in an interview with Forbes

“Today, our mission is more critical than ever, as the pandemic and the social justice movement magnify the urgent need to address and reverse centuries of systemic racism,” she added. “While working for the non-profit, I became acutely aware that trauma disproportionately affects low-income families and communities of color. Today at MindRight Health, we’ve set out to re-imagine mental health services to meet the untapped market needs of a rapidly diversifying nation.” 

MindRight Health reaches struggling teens through a text messaging database. Through the texting service, young people receive daily check-ins seven days a week to help them manage their day-to-day issues and challenges. Participants seem to benefit hugely from their experience, with top users texting MindRight every day for nearly three years. 

Their unique and qualified team of coaches and counselors and the accessibility the use of text messages provide attracted investors to the program. The extra funding will expand MindRight’s coaching services, providing new ways to harness technology to improve young people’s mental health and well-being.  

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpamika is a tech reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.