May 28, 2021
In this time of pandemic-induced isolation, the demand for digital mental health supports has never been higher. Wysa, a mental health platform driven by artificial intelligence, is well-positioned to respond to this increased demand after recently closing a $5.5 million Series A financing round. The round was led by W Health Ventures, the Google Assistant Investment Program, Kae Capital, and pi Ventures.
Wysa is an AI chatbot that provides users with mental health support in a number of interactive ways, notably through cognitive restructuring techniques and mindfulness-based meditation exercises. Having now secured a total of $9 million in funding, Wysa plans to scale up both its sales team and therapist network. Jo Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Wysa, hopes that by building up Wysa’s network of therapists, users seeking a referral to a mental health professional can have immediate access to therapists already on Wysa’s roster rather than receiving a referral to an external resource. These initiatives will help support Wysa’s offering to employers wishing to expand their mental health benefits.
As with all mental health apps powered by AI, safety is a primary concern. To address potential safety risks, Wysa appointed a clinical safety officer and developed technology that flags signs of self-harm, abuse, suicidal thoughts, or trauma. If a user’s conversations suggest they should speak to a human therapist or call a crisis line, Wysa will direct them to the appropriate resource. Indeed, the app’s “uncompromising clinical safety” was key to its success in the recent financing round.
Wysa has now facilitated more than 100 million conversations across 65 countries. With partners including Aetna International, Accenture Global, and L’Oreal, Wysa works with 7 million employees across the globe. Given Wysa’s new funding and the continued demand for accessible mental health services, these numbers are likely to continue growing.
Author: Jennifer Linde