AI Startup Company Wysa Closes $5.5 Million Series A for Mental Health App

By James White Saturday, May 22, 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is breaking into the mental health scene. Advancements in conversational AI combined with an increased understanding of mental health and clinical therapy techniques has allowed mental health professionals to create a platform for users to anonymously seek help at their own pace through a convenient app. Startup company Wysa recently secured $5.5 million from investors for its mental health app powered by AI technology.

Artificial intelligence concept.

"When organisations roll out Wysa, what surprises them is the insight they get about usage, while still maintaining employee privacy,” said Jo Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of the AI startup business. “For example, most people start with group meditations or sleep routines, and about 30-40% need help with negative thoughts and emotions.”

Funding for the healthcare startup company in the Series A round was driven by lead investor W Health Ventures. Additional investors, including the Google Assistant Investments program, pi Ventures, and Kae Capital, also supported the AI business and its mental health app during the round. According to Crunchbase, Wysa has raised a total of $9.4 million from investors seeking to support the AI startup company. The latest funding for the mental health startup will help the business scale up its team and offer its app platform to employers providing mental health benefits.

Helping Users Build Mental Fortitude

Co-founded by Aggarwal and entrepreneur Ramakant Vempati, Wysa brings conversational AI technology into the healthcare industry. The app platform built by the AI startup allows users to talk through their issues anonymously and build mental strength to handle things like anxiety and stress.

Wysa’s AI-powered chatbot takes the form of a friendly penguin and provides app users with a judgment-free space to discuss their thoughts and feelings at any time of the day. The mental health startup is equipped with an array of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and meditation exercises to help users relax and learn how to respond to stressful situations. After speaking with the chatbot, app users can choose to pursue further help from a network of medical professionals provided by the healthcare startup.

The company also scales its solution for business use, allowing employers to offer expanded mental health benefits to employees. Through the enterprise-grade offering, the healthcare business provides employees with access to the Wysa chatbot, a library of self-care techniques, and a network of professional well-being coaches. Though employee privacy is maintained, the platform also provides employers with real-time insights regarding the overall mental health of their team members.

"As we enter the second year of the pandemic, so many people are struggling and seeking mental health support,” said Executive Vice President at W Health Ventures, Dr. Pankaj Jethwani. “Wysa is an example of how technology is helping millions of people access everyday mental health support and self-care tools without being gated by a clinical diagnosis.”

Breaking Into an Expanding Industry

Wysa is targeting a growing industry with its AI-powered healthcare app. With both individual and enterprise-grade solutions, the startup company has a wide customer base to tap into. Market research projects the global mental health app market to reach over $3.7 billion by 2027.

About the Author

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James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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