Fika raises £1.2m to shift the focus from ‘mental health’ to ‘mental fitness’ at work

Fika, the employer-led mental fitness training platform, has raised £1.2m from lead investor Rising Stars, as well as a syndicate of ten expert angel investors from the US and UK including Biogen board member, Brian Posner, who will join NCFE’s Chief Executive, David Gallagher on Fika’s board as its new Chairman, along with founder of Accomable, which exited to Airbnb, Srin Madipalli, and health tech angel, Pam Garside.

Fika, founded in 2017, is specifically focused on mental fitness – not mental health – with a mission to make mental fitness as normal and necessary as physical fitness. It is the brainchild of Nick Bennett and Gareth Fryer who both have a personal passion for mental fitness. While Nick has experienced first-hand the devastating toll that poor mental health can take on someone having lost his best friend to suicide, Gareth has faced intense mental health challenges facing a cancer diagnosis – twice. Fika has onboarded 70+ clients since January this year including leading retailer, DFS, demonstrating the demand for its proposition.

According to research from Deloitte, 52% of people quote ‘business as usual’ – everything from prioritising their workload to meeting deadlines – as the main reason for a decline in their mental health. Fika is challenging the prevailing narrative around mental health as an unavoidable and overwhelming crisis by highlighting the global mental fitness skills gap facing millions of people. The Fika platform has been designed to prevent – not treat – mental health concerns by supporting the 80% of the workforce who fall between workplace perks and Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs). Fika is empowering employers to support this huge percentage of employees who categorise themselves as ‘fine’, but who, in reality, are rarely given the tools to deal with everyday challenges.

Nick Bennett,  co-founder of Fika, said: “You would never run a marathon without training, yet employees are consistently being put under pressure to perform their role without the relevant mental fitness skills or training. Our goal is to empower businesses to introduce a ‘day one duty of care’ towards mental fitness that reaches every employee. By bringing scalable performance psychology to entire businesses, our platform prevents the risk of psychological injury to human and financial capital and keeps employees safe and healthy.”

Gareth Fryer, co-founder of Fika said: “We are delighted that Rising Stars and others have backed our mission to mainstream mental fitness. This investment is indicative of the impact our technology is already having, and will give us the opportunity to bring mental fitness into the mainstream so every employee, regardless of their role or financial circumstance, has the ability to train for life’s everyday challenges.”