Berlin-based digital wellness startup not less but better lands €940k to end smartphone addiction

Berlin-based healthtech startup not less but better (nlbb) has just raised €940k. The wellbeing-focused startup is on a mission to solve the most elusive mental health challenge of the 21st century: smartphone addiction. 

This pre-seed funding includes investment from 47% female angels, the mental wellness impact fund Masawa and notable angels such as co-founders and former MDs from Blinkist, N26, and mysugr of Blinkist, N26, and mysugr. Nlbb has also secured an exceptional advisory board of product-minded leaders including Georgie Smallwood, CPO of Tier Mobility, and Jesaja Brinkmann, Co-CEO of Cara Care. 

Christina Roitzheim, co-founder, product leader, and psychologist at nlbb commented: “We are thrilled to have the support of such strong angels and advisors, closing a successful pre-seed round which will accelerate the impact of our scientifically-backed methods. We believe that humane tech that solves human problems is the future, and are grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to solving one of the most pressing challenges of our time: smartphone addiction.”

Founded in 2020 by Selcuk Aciner (CEO), Christina Roitzheim (CPO), and Marius Rackwitz (CTO), the beta product of nlbb was launched in 2021, generating a substantial media response due to the timeliness of a product building long-term, sustainable habits to overcome smartphone addiction. Already, the app has had 15k users. 

nlbb is the first phone addiction app that is hyper-personalized to the needs of the user.  The aim is to help people around the world get in control of their phone use, so they can enjoy the wonders of how tech keeps us connected without the drawbacks of spiralling addiction. 

nlbb is being built for the millions of high-intent people who feel out of control, but are unable to change on their own. Using just-in-time adaptive interventions means that nlbb helps keep users in their lane, gently guiding them back to how they want to spend their time. nlbb is able to help users build healthy habits by looking at holistic smartphone use: it’s not just about reducing your screen time; it’s about being in control of how you spend your time and energy.

Selcuk Aciner explained: “We live in a structureless world. Days blend into nights. Work bleeds into weekends. Workplaces blend into homes. The vague, boundary-less way of living is the perfect breeding ground for smartphone addiction. It paves the ideal path to pull us into mindless phone use and keep us there for hours at a time. But the solution to this is not to force structure. In many ways, that’s no longer an option as the ‘new normal’ includes a lot of variety day-to-day. We’re building the only solution so personalized to your behavior and patterns that it actually works long-term, no matter how varied your days. It’s just that personal.”

The fresh capital will be used to further develop the product, bringing humane tech as a solution to real human problems.

Christian Rebernik who was the first angel to invest added: “Smartphones are in the hand of almost every consumer. And these little devices are powerful. They can build worlds and tear their users down in the process. Time is often stolen from us when we’re on our phones—forcing us to sacrifice the truly important things in life. But the problem is not that we don’t have time, rather that we don’t use it properly. I believe that nlbb helps to build a sustainable society where its users leave each touchpoint a little more successful and fulfilled. That is why I have invested.”