[Funding alert] Google-backed mental health startup Wysa closes $5.5M in Series A round

Wysa will use the funds to provide its offering to employers who want to expand their mental health benefits, and scale up its sales team and therapist network.
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Global AI-powered mental health platform Wysa on Thursday said it raised a $5.5 million Series A round led by W Health Ventures — a Boston-based digital health investor

Google Assistant Investment programme, and existing investors Pi Ventures and Kae Capital also participated in the round.

Wysa said it will use this capital to provide its offering to employers who want to expand their mental health benefits, as well as scale up its sales team and therapist network.

The startup had raised pre-Series A funding in 2019 led by pi Ventures, Kae Capital, and others. With the latest infusion, the Boston and Bengaluru-based startup has raised close to $9 million in funding so far.

“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 allows us to bring the next generation of workforce wellbeing solutions to organisations across the country,” said Wysa Co-founder and CEO Jo Aggarwal.

Wysa Co-founders - Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati

Wysa’s internal data shows that 60 percent of the working population struggle with negative thoughts, anxiety, isolation, or sleep issues. However, they prefer to improve their situation themselves rather than seeking clinical support. Wysa offers a clinically approved, responsive, and AI-guided safe space that listens like a person and scales like a product. 

“As we enter the second year of the pandemic, many people are struggling and seeking mental health support. 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,” said Dr Pankaj Jethwani, Executive Vice President at W Health Ventures.

For organisations, Wysa claims to customise its support to employee needs with complete anonymity and also gives real-time population-level insights related to their employees’ mental wellbeing. Additionally, the startup offers daily support from a dedicated wellbeing coach.

For larger organisations, Wysa’s solution integrates with their existing wellness resources. This year, Accenture rolled out Wysa's solution to 500,000 employees across 53 countries, including India.

“Wysa’s explainable AI – combining natural language understanding with clinical assurance — helps everyone build skills to manage their mental health in the new normal,” said Moez Kaderali, Programme Manager for the Google Assistant Investments Programme.

At present, Wysa has facilitated over 100 million conversations in 65 countries. It works with 20 enterprise partners and seven million employees worldwide, including Accenture Global, Aetna International, NHS, L’Oreal, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and the Ministry of Health in Singapore.

Manish Singhal, Founding Partner, pi Ventures, said, “With mental health becoming another pandemic in the making globally, there is an acute 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.”

Edited by Suman Singh

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