Meet YourDost.com – A Startup Which Stopped approx 70,000 People From Committing Suicide
The tipping point in the life of Richa Singh, founder of online counselling startup YourDost.com came in 2008, when her hostel mate from IIT Guwahati committed suicide due to academic and social pressure.
As Richa shared, “Later on, it was found that she was under pressure. She was unable to cope with the heavy syllabus and wondered whether her low scores would get her a decent placement. That incident just changed the way I used to think about life and the way things can suddenly turn around.”
Despite not being a psychologist or a counsellor, she launched her startup ‘YourDost’ in 2014, with the only knowledge of the technical aspects and a will to stop people from committing suicide and helping those who are facing emotional trauma and distress.
As it always happens, when a good and noble mission is started, like-minded people automatically join in to enlarge the cause. Her long time friends Puneet Manuja and Prakhar Verma soon joined her startup after leaving their respective jobs, and YourDost started to become huge.
Designed as a platform to provide services of a ‘Emotional Wellness Coach’, YourDost now has a team of psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, life coaches and career guides which provide chat based services for those who are confused, scared, hurt and emotionally unstable.
As per available reports, YourDost now gets somewhere between 350-400 conversations per day, as there exists 200+ experts from various walks of life who are contributing to the cause, and helping people to survive and live.
Around 2,00,000 people have sought guidance on this platform, 10,000 people have registered themselves, and approximately 70,000 people decided to ditch the idea of suicide and live.
Last year in November, YourDost raised Rs 2.5 crore as venture capital from RedBus founder Phanindra Sama, TaxiForSure founder Aprameya Radhakrishna, Capillary founder Aneesh Reddy and Nagesh Grandhi of Hyderabad Angels. This clearly means that there are investors and promoters who doesn’t want crisp ROI on every investment – they want a better society as well.
As per Richa, the funds would be used for creating awareness about emotional well being, develop a stronger platform for supporting more conversations, to increase their team and to develop content which can help emotionally distressed people.
Interestingly, Richa has tried several unique innovations, which has made YourDost a robust, scalable and dependable platform to offer high impact psychological support. For instance, the ability to remain anonymous.
As per Richa, “We all face problems, stress and anxiety at some point in our life but mostly we are not willing to talk about these, fearing social implications, being judged and for the fear of being judged. We are confident that technology combined with empathy and right kind of experts will go a long way in helping people going through a various emotional and mental challenges and equipping them to better deal with it,”
More power to Richa and her team; and best wishes for YourDost.com for doing a task which our society has failed to do.