The real deal on Join-Real


Real (

What is the company? How much have they raised to date?

Real is a mental wellness app that charges a monthly subscription for check-in tools, pathways, and “real talks.” Real is often advertised as self-guided therapy with tools created by mental health therapists and professionals. Real has raised more than $47 million dollars with their most recent round being $37 million in April of 2022.

What's their mission? 
Real’s mission puts the focus back on you and strengthens your relationship with yourself. Real wants you to better understand yourself and find spaces to connect with others and grow, and events to normalize and celebrate talking about mental health.

Who founded the company? Are their clinicians on the executive team? 
Real was started by Ariela Safira.While Ariela is not a clinician, her healthcare background is extensive compared to many founders in this space. From redesigning therapy clinics, researching in-patient programming, and researching and designing services to lower depression at IDEO. Before starting Real, Ariela was at Cityblock Health working in product and operations and pursuing her Master's in Clinical Psychology from Columbia. She left the pursuit of her Master's when she started Real.

Real's clinical leadership includes Rachel Hoffman who has extensive social work background. Rachel is Real's current Chief Clinical Officer. Real's Chief Medical Officer is also extremely impressive. Nina Vasan MD MBA  Dr. Vasan founded The Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation, and was an assistant professor and Chief Resident. She's served as an advisor to a number of companies.

What's the business model? How does this company make money? 
For users, Real ranges from $23.99/month when billed monthly and $13.75 per month when billde annually ($164.99 per year). Real is about the most affordable platform in this space until you start to compare it to wellness apps like Calm and Headspace. They also accept FSA and HSA cards.

What does one get for paying that price? 
After signing up, you get access to the Real app which seems to be a compilation of wellness programs created by therapists, access to therapist-led events, mental wellness tracking, and “tools” to explore your mental wellness. 

What is the cancellation policy? 
Users can cancel their membership anytime; however, users may be stuck in their 6 or 12-month contract depending on how they paid.

If applicable, what are the pay/benefits for therapists? 

The Review 
Real is one of the most content-focused platforms. With limited opportunities to interact with therapists live, their main value comes from the pre-made content you have access to. This is a tough space to be in when consumers are already interacting with free content across social media platforms. Can Real convince the everyday person of the difference in value with their content? It seems like not everyone is convinced with several comments requesting more immersion and engagement. 

When it comes to their privacy, Real uses Facebook pixel on both their marketing website and on their platform onboarding process.  Pixel is set up to track how far in the checkout process and what length of subscription a user is going to get. Real's advertising often gives users the opportunity to get their first month for $8.99. Real advertises itself as "the mental health care you deserve."