Bengaluru-headquartered Wysa, an AI-based mental health platform, has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by HealthQuad, British International Investment (BII), with participation from existing investors, including US-based W Health Ventures, Kae Capital, Google Assistant Investments, and pi Ventures.
Launched in 2015 by Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati, Wysa is a mental health platform that is available to individuals through employer benefits programs and healthcare services. Its chatbot is emotionally intelligent and combines evidence-based therapeutic techniques along with empathetic listening to make mental health accessible to a large number of people.
The platform then recommends if the user needs to seek professional help, among other remedies. The startup says it will use the raised capital to expand its presence in India, the US, and the UK, among other global markets. It also plans to provide wider usability through multi-lingual support.
Wysa claims to have a user base of 4.5 million across 65 countries. The startup also provides its services to firms including Accenture, Colgate-Palmolive, Swiss Re, the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, and the Ministry of Health in Singapore.
Mental health disorders are faced by a wide range of populations across India. But due to stigma and lack of therapists and psychiatrists, people continue to suffer. But the pandemic did help in bringing in more awareness and discussion around depression and anxiety, among other issues, the startup says.
Srini Nagarajan Managing Director and head of Asia at BII, said that good mental health is a crucial pillar for sound physical health which in turn promotes social and economic development.
“Through our investment in Wysa, BII is taking a holistic approach to supporting long-term productive economic prosperity by backing an innovative tech-enabled company that is increasing access to mental health services for low-income and rural individuals,” Nagarajan adds.