Mental Heath AI-supported platform Wysa raised $5.5 Mn In Series A round led by W Health Ventures — a Boston-based digital health investor, along with Google Assistant investment Programme and existing investors, pi Ventures and Kae capital.
In 2019, The startup which is based in Boston and Bengaluru, raised pre-Series A funding led by pi Ventures, Kae Capital, and others. With the latest round, they have raised close to $9 million to date. Wysa says that it will use this capital to provide its employers who want to expand their mental health benefits and grow their sales team and therapist network.
Founded in 2015 by Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati, Wysa helps in dealing with various generic mental disorders such as stress, depression, and anxiety with the help of an ‘emotionally intelligent’ bot. The bot builds solutions based on evidence-based cognitive-behavioural techniques (CBT), meditation, breathing and mindfulness exercises, as well as micro-actions, to help users build mental resilience and relaxation.
Jo Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of Wysa, said, -“For the first time, employers use data to understand how the mental wellbeing of their employees is constantly changing, and how it compares against benchmarks. Today, every employer is looking for a solution that goes beyond traditional EAP. This investment enables us to bring the next generation of workforce wellbeing solutions to companies across the country.”
According to Wysa, about 60% of the working population struggles with anxiety, negative thoughts, isolation and sleep issues. And most of these people try to improve their situations themselves, instead of receiving clinical help or support. So Wysa offers a clinically approved responsive, and AI-guided safe space that listens like a person and scales like a product.
“Many people are struggling and seeking mental health support. Wysa is an example of how technology is helping people access everyday mental health support and self-care tools without being gated by a clinical diagnosis,” said Dr Pankaj Jethwani, Executive Vice President at W Health Ventures.
Wysa customizes its support to employee needs with complete anonymity and also gives them real-time population-level insights related to their mental wellbeing. The startup also offers everyday support from a wellbeing coach. Larger organizations integrate Wysa’s solution with their existing wellness resources. Accenture rolled out Wysa’s solution to 500,000 employees across 53 countries, including India, this year.
“Wysa’s AI, which combines natural language understanding with clinical assurance, helps everyone to build skills to manage their mental
health” said Moez Kaderali, Programme Manager at Google Assistant Investments Programme.
Manish Singhal, Founding Partner at pi Ventures, said, “With mental health becoming another pandemic in the making globally, there is a shortage of qualified mental health professionals to take care of the growing demand. On the back of a disruptive AI engine trained for mental health conversations, Wysa brings an effective and cutting-edge approach to solve this problem on a global scale.”
Currently, Wysa has provided over 100 million conversations in 65 countries. It works with 20 partners and seven million employees all over the world, including Aetna International, Accenture Global, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, NHS, L’Oreal, and the Ministry of Health in Singapore.