Company - Panda Health

Democratizing Mental Health

Panda is revolutionizing employee mental health with AI-powered early detection, prevention, and ongoing support.

The world's most innovative companies use Panda


Freeing the bears in all of us

The birth of Panda

Panda was co-founded by Allan Sweidan and Alon Lits. Allan, a clinical psychologist, built what was to become the largest psychiatric hospital group in Southern Africa, Akeso. When Akeso was eventually sold to Netcare (JSE:NTC) in 2018, it was treating upwards of 22,000 patients a year across 13 sites. Allan served on the Netcare Exco until mid-2019.

Alon was Uber’s first employee in Africa. In his 7 years at the helm, Uber was launched into 7 countries, generating millions of rides and changing the face of transport in Sub-Saharan Africa. Alon left his role as Director for Uber in Sub-Saharan Africa in August 2020.

Introduced by a mutual friend, Allan and Alon embarked on a mission to disrupt the global mental health industry, where it's estimated that up to 80% of people who need mental healthcare don't get it because of issues including affordability, access to care and stigma. Applying their unique skills, and pulling together an incredible team of like-minded social entrepreneurs intent on making a difference, they have developed an app that has the potential to democratize the provision of mental healthcare.

Panda has grown into a cost-effective, multi-functional platform that improves exponentially: it becomes more useful to more users the more that it is used.

Pandas have a universal appeal with their playful, yin yang energy. The name also resonates with a book Allan read a hundred years ago, wherein bears, symbolizing the strong, playful human spirit, were set free from a European Zoo with dramatic consequences. Panda sets out to free the bears in all of us.

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“Through Panda we continue to draw insights to understand where to bolster support and to design a fit for purpose well-being plan for the year.”

Palesa Ntoagae
Director of Human Resources, Johannesburg Stock Exchange

“We now understand what wellbeing challenges are most important to our staff and can craft specialised interventions with the Panda team [..]The entire Panda team is a pleasure to deal with”

Daniella Frank
National Employee Engagement Manager, Mazars

“In as much as I love the app, and I love it a lot, I think the most stand out feature of the Pilot has been the support we have received from the Panda team [..] has been the difference between it being limp on inception, and it being the success it was!”

Gen Brand
HR Director, SAPRO

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