Mental health platform Wysa on Thursday said it has raised $20 million (around Rs 160 crore) as part of its Series B funding round led by venture capital firm HealthQuad.
UK's development finance institution British International Investment (BII) and existing investors W Health Ventures, Kae Capital, Google Assistant Investments and pi Ventures also contributed to the funding round, said Wysa in a statement.
Wysa, operated by Touchkin eServices Pvt Ltd, will use the fresh capital to expand in the US, UK, and other global markets. Part of the funds will also be used to improve the reach of the platform through multi-lingual support and easier access via WhatsApp, the statement noted.
The startup, which was founded by Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati in 2015, is an artificial intelligence (AI) based 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.
Wysa claims that it has facilitated more than 400 million conversations with 4.5 million users in 65 countries. Its customers include Accenture Global, Aetna International, NHS in the UK, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and the Ministry of Health in Singapore.
"With this funding, we look forward to scaling-up further and helping millions of more people," said Vempati, co-founder, Wysa.
Ajay Mahipal, director, HealthQuad, noted that the FDA breakthrough device designation status for Wysa makes it one of the few clinically validated, privacy focused and personalized solutions built for global scale.
HealthQuad, floated by the founders of healthcare-focused private equity firm Quadria Capital, announced the final close of its second fund at $162 million, more than 2.2 times greater than its target size at launch, earlier in March. The venture capital firm's recent investments include ambulance delivery service StanPlus and AI-based health benefits startup ekincare.
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," added Nagarajan.
BII has an existing portfolio of over $2 billion in India.
Established in 1948 as CDC, which was rebranded as BII beginning April 2022, the investment company has added Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region as its new focus areas for business expansion.
Earlier this month, BII appointed former UK govt-backed Neev Funds’ chief, Manav Bansal as its new head of India and managing director.
Other venture capital backed mental health startups in India include InnerHour and We Heal.