Wysa, a popular mental health app originally founded in India around an AI chatbot that helps users talk through their feelings, has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round to expand its business on the heels of hitting 4.5 million users in 65 countries.
The all-equity round is led by India’s digital health-focused venture capital fund HealthQuad, with participation also from British International Investment (BII), the U.K.’s development finance institution. The plan will be to use the money to double down on its home market as well as the U.S. and U.K, where it already has respectively had approvals from the FDA and the National Health Service (NHS) and is used by the latter as part of its online mental health services.
… “Typically, access to a mental health service is gated. It is restricted by some kind of diagnosis — saying only if you are severe enough you will be able to get to speak to a therapist because obviously therapy is expensive and somebody’s got to pay for it,” he (Note: Ramakant Vempati, Wysa’s co-founder) said. In contrast, he noted that the app offers “early engagement and a safe space where people can come in and anonymously just talk about what’s bothering them.”
Vempati underlined that Wysa works as a three-state solution. The first part of it is available to the masses as an AI chat offering, whereas its second piece is more structured help that is coming from human beings including coaches, counselors and therapists on staff. The third part, he said, is what the company calls clinical programs.
… Wysa will use this capital to further expand into the US, UK, India and other global markets across enterprises, payors, providers as well as improve wider usability through multi-lingual support and easier access via WhatsApp. The round is led by HealthQuad, who along with British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution, joins earlier investors W Health Ventures, Kae Capital, Google Assistant Investments, and pi Ventures amongst others … Wysa uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to triage users according to their personal needs, guiding them through appropriate, evidence-based CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) exercises within the app, towards other mental health services or crisis support. Wysa’s platform provides employers and health services insights into usage rates of Wysa and digital well-being tools, while maintaining user privacy.
HealthQuad is India’s leading digital health-focused venture capital fund, with assets under management of USD 200 Mn across two funds. Its focus is to nurture innovative models which radically improve healthcare access and affordability by leveraging technology.