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The startup helping couples with their relationship challenges

Boarding Pass

The startup helping couples with their relationship challenges

Israeli startup Ritual has raised $2 million to help fill the gap left by a lack of therapists in the U.S.

CTech | 12:00  31.10.2022

“Studies have shown about 75% of couples face substantial challenges, but only about 7% seek help in the form of traditional therapy,” explained the founders of Ritual. “The gap points towards a need for an alternative solution. To top that off, there's a shortage of 15,000 therapists in the U.S. alone, meaning many couples end up on waiting lists. Recent technological advances now make skill-building and personalized progress more accessible than ever, so implementing it in the field of relationship support seems intuitive.”

Ritual has recently launched in America to help make effective relationship guidance accessible to the masses. It provides accessible and flexible therapy meant for couples who haven’t yet dealt with huge crises.

The company, which has raised a total of $2 million, has joined CTech to share how its system can help save couples facing relationship challenges.


 CPO Nir Shtern (left), CEO David Pruwer, and CTO Gil-Ad Meir CPO Nir Shtern (left), CEO David Pruwer, and CTO Gil-Ad Meir  CPO Nir Shtern (left), CEO David Pruwer, and CTO Gil-Ad Meir


Company Name: Ritual

Sector: Healthcare

Product/Service description:

Ritual is making effective relationship guidance accessible to the masses. Skill-building combined with online 1:1 expert support, Ritual helps couples and individuals overcome relationship struggles and build better and stronger bonds in a way that fits the modern lifestyle. Ritual is more accessible, more flexible, and lighter than traditional therapy and is meant for the majority of couples who have issues that aren't yet a huge crisis.

Founder Bios:

David Pruwer, Ph.D. (CEO): Originally from the UK, got his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cambridge before making Aliya and working as a strategic consultant.

Nir Shtern (CPO): Studies Computer Science at UC Berkeley, and worked at the Silicon Valley ecosystem before moving back to Israel and leading several products at K-Health.

Gil-Ad Meir (CTO) worked at the Prime Minister’s Office where he led several innovative projects, and registered numerous patents. He was part of the core technical team at Otonomo.

Year of Founding: 2021

Last Investment Round: $2 million

Last Investment Stage: Pre-Seed

Date of Last Investment: February 2022

Total investment to date: $2 million

Investors (leading and all): Led by GroundUp Ventures with participation from Samsung Next, Verissimo Ventures, 97212 Ventures, Fresh.Fund, Homeward Ventures, and strategic angel Jonathan Weiner, the Founder of HLTH, and super angel Errol Damelin.

Current number of employees: 12

Open positions: 2

Website:

www.heyritual.com

Social Media:

https://www.linkedin.com/company/72688766

Interview:

How was the idea born?

The three founders saw during the pandemic how important relationships are, how little resources are out there to support the most important bit of life, and how vulnerable it could get with even external circumstances. They found they wanted to work on something that's impactful and meaningful (another takeaway from Covid-19), and so they set out to create a new solution for people who wanted to improve their relationships and gain new skills around them.

What is the need for the product?

Studies have shown about 75% of couples face substantial challenges, but only about 7% seek help in the form of traditional therapy. The gap points towards a need for an alternative solution. To top that off, there's a shortage of 15,000 therapists in the U.S. alone, meaning many couples end up on waiting lists. Recent technological advances now make skill-building and personalized progress more accessible than ever, so implementing it in the field of relationship support seems intuitive.

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How is it changing the market?

Ritual is making relationship guidance available to the masses by lowering the price tag, simplifying the process, and creating personalized plans that are adjusted to the client. It's a combination of 1:1 expert guidance with self-learned tools you can practice on your own schedule. Ritual has research-backed programs for individuals in relationships, different levels of feedback, and a price point that starts as low as $30. Even the premium plan costs about a third of traditional therapy.

How big is the market for the product and who are its main customers?

Every person in a committed relationship who has some issue to tackle, from new parents to couples who wish their fights weren't so corrosive, to people who want guidance on reigniting intimacy. The offering keeps growing and covers more issues with every month that goes by, with user research guiding the way in choosing what subject is tackled next.

Does the product exist already? If not - at what stage is it and when is it expected to hit the market?

The product was launched last week, all three tiers are live and there are already paying clients, in the U.S mostly.

Who are the main competitors in this sector and how big are they?

There are a couple of other services in the space (among those are Ours and Paired), yet Ritual is the only company currently offering a model that combines personalized expert guidance with skill-building tools.

What is the added value that the founders bring to the company and the product?

Apart from having vast experience working on successful products and developing innovative technological solutions, Ritual's founders understand first-hand the consumer side, as young husbands and fathers, who have experienced and witnessed couples around them going through difficulties without the right support. Being men, their "relationship loneliness" was even deeper, since men tend to avoid sharing emotional issues with their circles.

What will the money coming in from the round be used for?

The round is being used for branching out in the U.S and further developing Ritual's offering.


In the "Startup Boarding Pass" section, CTech will cover the (relatively) small investments made in companies during the early stages of their existence - and the entrepreneurs and startups who have not yet had the opportunity to reveal their stories to the world. Please use the linked form and fill it out according to the guidelines. This form is intended for startups raising between $500,000 and $3 million from venture capital funds, angels, or official grants from Israeli and foreign institutions. If relevant, someone at CTech will be in touch for follow-up questions.


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