BetterUp Inc, a San Francisco-based startup that provides online professional development coaching and mental health counseling, announced in a statement yesterday that Britain’s Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has been named as its new Chief Impact Officer.
BetterUp announced last month that it had raised $125 million in series D funding, boosting its valuation to $1.73 billion – firmly in “unicorn” territory defined as a private startup with a valuation in excess of $1 billion.
The Wall Street Journal was first to report that Prince Harry had joined the startup.
“As a member of the BetterUp executive team, Prince Harry will expand on the work he’s been doing for years, as he educates and inspires our community and champions the importance of focusing on preventative mental fitness and human potential worldwide,” said Alexi Robichaux, co-founder and CEO of BetterUp.
Prince Harry has spoken openly about his mental health struggles following the 1997 death of his mother, Princess Diana, in a Paris car crash.
Harry joins the startup weeks after he and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, gave a bombshell interview to Oprah Winfrey that detailed their decision to leave the United Kingdom and disclosed that the stresses of royal life had led to her having suicidal thoughts and strained their mental health.
“I firmly believe that focusing on and prioritising our mental fitness unlocks potential and opportunity that we never knew we had inside of us,” Harry said in the BetterUp blog post, adding that he had personally worked with one of the company’s coaches and made the service available to employees of Archewell, the umbrella name for the couple’s foundation and their audio and video production companies.
Buckingham Palace announced in February that Harry and Meghan told Queen Elizabeth II that they would not be returning as working members of the royal family, formalising a split initiated in January 2020 when the couple announced they would step back from their roles as senior royals and work to become financially independent.
Since then, the couple has made California their home and inked multiyear deals with Netflix and Spotify.