Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures leads $1.1 million seed round for digital mental health startup

Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons. Credit: Jon Elliott of MKE Drones LLC
Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons. Credit: Jon Elliott of MKE Drones LLC

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in a $1.1 million seed round announced Wednesday by San Francisco online health platform MentalHappy.

The round was led by NM Future Ventures and accompanied by Social Impact Capital, Chai Angels as well as Peter Reinhardt, the founder and CEO of

MentalHappy is a social network designed to help people improve their emotional wellbeing through positive peer support. The online platform provides a safe and secure space for users to discuss mental health in addition to offering practical tips and techniques to improve their mental well-being.

In December, MentalHappy launched a beta version of its platform, which gave over 300 individuals tools, resources and real-life connections to live an emotionally happier and healthier life, according to a press release. The startup says it now has 2,500 individuals on a waitlist to use the app once it launches in July.

“I’m so happy to be partnering with Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures,” MentalHappy founder and CEO Tamar Blue said in a statement. “They are a fund that recognizes the value and importance of supporting innovators and changemakers of color who are working to solve significant challenges within communities.”

Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures Fund II launched in 2019 with $150 million to invest in startup companies around the country. The corporate venture fund typically invests between $500,000 and $5 million in Series A or B funding rounds.

The fund has four key strategic investing areas:

  • Building for consumers’ changing financial preferences
  • Reimagining the client experience
  • The digital health revolution
  • Transformational analytics and technologies

Northwestern Mutual says it has dedicated $40 million to investing in startups founded by women and Black entrepreneurs to help close the funding gap and advance their companies.

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