HealthQuad and British International Investment (BII) contributed $20 million to a Series B round of funding for Wysa, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based mental health platform. Existing investors, including US-based W Health Ventures, Kae Capital, Google Assistant Investments, and pi Ventures, among others, also participated in the round.
The mental health platform plans on using the funds to expand further in India, the US, and the UK, among other global markets. Wysa will additionally increase usability by supporting multiple languages.
"Wysa was developed in India and is marketed globally. The needs for Wysa are present all across the board, from high-income to low-income countries. According to Charles Antoine-Janssen, Chief Investment Officer, HealthQuad, "AI-based mental health triaging of patients that is quick, efficient, and non-stigmatizing for patients living in unaccepting societies answers a considerable need in India, the rest of low-income Asia, Africa, and the wealthiest countries in the world.
Wysa was started in 2015 by Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati, is an AI-based platform, where users with initial signs of mental health disorders can come to talk to the bot. The platform then suggests, among other options, whether the user should get professional assistance.
Wysa claims to have a user base of 4.5 million across 65 countries. The startup also offers services to companies like Accenture, Colgate-Palmolive, Swiss Re, the UK's National Health Service (NHS), and Singapore's Ministry of Health.
Mental health disorders are faced by a wide range of populations across India. But people continue to suffer due to stigma and a lack of therapists and psychiatrists. But the pandemic did help to bring in more awareness and discussion around depression and anxiety, among other issues.Wysa also claims to have seen its user base at least double last year.The firm competes with Lightbox Ventures-backed InnerHour, Juno Clinic, and Your Dost, among other platforms.