Follows FDA Breakthrough Device Designation and clinical evidence of a Therapeutic Alliance
- HealthQuad and British International Investment (BII) join earlier investors W Health Ventures, Kae Capital, pi Ventures and Google Assistant Investments
- Funds will enable access to clinically evidenced digital therapeutics (DTx) in the US, UK, India and other global markets
- Will enable further reach through multi-lingual support and access via alternative technologies
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Wysa, the leading AI digital platform for mental health, today announces it has secured $20M in financing. Wysa will use this capital to further expand into the US, UK, India and other global markets across enterprises, payors, providers as well as improve wider usability through multi-lingual support and easier access via WhatsApp. The round is led by HealthQuad, who along with British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution, joins earlier investors W Health Ventures, Kae Capital, Google Assistant Investments, and pi Ventures amongst others.
Globally, there is a huge demand-supply gap in the mental health space. One in eight people in the world live with a mental disorder, according to the World Health Organization. With high treatment cost and limited access to qualified therapists, employers, healthcare providers and insurers are seeking ways to help people manage their mental health and well-being through clinically proven, cost-effective and scalable solutions.
Wysa uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to triage users according to their personal needs, guiding them through appropriate, evidence-based CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) exercises within the app, towards other mental health services or crisis support. Wysa’s platform provides employers and health services insights into usage rates of Wysa and digital well-being tools, while maintaining user privacy.
Wysa has achieved FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for its AI-based digital mental health conversational agent for adults with a diagnosis of chronic musculoskeletal pain and associated depression and anxiety. Additionally, clinical trials have validated Wysa’s efficacy and published peer-reviewed results show that therapeutic emotional bonds formed by Wysa are equivalent to human therapist relationships. The company has, to date, achieved a revenue-generating user base of over 4.5 million people across 65 countries. Clients include Accenture, Colgate-Palmolive, Aetna International, Swiss Re, the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, and the Ministry of Health in Singapore.
Charles Antoine-Janssen, Chief Investment Officer, HealthQuad said: “We are thrilled to be part of the Wysa team. Wysa is developed in India and is marketed globally. The needs for Wysa are present all across, from high income to low-income countries. Mental health triaging of patients using AI which is fast, effective and non stigmatising for patients living in unaccepting societies answers a huge need in India, the rest of low income Asia, Africa as well as the wealthiest countries of the world.”
“Wysa provides help across the care continuum – from the first point of access to digital therapeutics and companion alongside a clinician, to ongoing monitoring & routine management thereby democratizing access to mental health. FDA Breakthrough Device Designation status, user privacy further validated by Mozilla and real-time AI-CBT support makes Wysa one of the few clinically validated, privacy focused and personalized solutions built for global scale” added Ajay Mahipal, Director, HealthQuad.
Srini Nagarajan, Managing Director and Head of Asia at British International Investment added: “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. We are excited to continue working with Wysa’s team to grow their offering and help improve health outcomes and quality of life for people.”
Ramakant Vempati, Co-founder, Wysa, said: “Wysa has not only been extremely successful as a consumer well-being platform but has also developed into a clinically validated, powerful tool to proactively manage mental health and well-being. Wysa meets people where they are, whether that means a little help with occasional workplace stress, right up to coping with debilitating pain, depression and anxiety. With this funding, we look forward to scaling-up further and helping millions of more people.”
HealthQuad is India’s leading digital health-focused venture capital fund, with assets under management of USD 200 Mn across two funds. Its focus is to nurture innovative models which radically improve healthcare access and affordability by leveraging technology.
Charles-Antoine Janssen is the Chief Investment Officer at HealthQuad and the Co-Founder & Managing Partner at KOIS S.A., a global impact investing firm. HealthQuad is a joint venture between KOIS S.A. and Quadria Capital, with an exclusive focus on the Indian health-tech market. Charles-Antoine has over 26 years of industry experience and is a well-versed impact investor focused on healthcare access. His vision to nurture innovative models that can transform healthcare, is in perfect alignment with Wysa’s vision to use AI and make quality healthcare accessible to all.
Charles-Antoine serves on the board of Medikabazaar, THB, Lilac Insights, TC4AI, Regency Hospitals, GoJob, the Climate School and Potential Project and on the Advisory Board of Lighthouse (India PE fund) and Quadria (Asia healthcare PE fund). He is also a member of the board and audit committee of UCB, as well as a board member of Tubize (UCB’s listed reference shareholder).
About British International Investment (BII):
British International Investment is the new name for the UK’s development finance institution and was formerly known as CDC Group. BII is a trusted investment partner to businesses in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. It invests between £1.5 and £2 billion every year to support the UK Government’s Clean Green Initiative and to create productive, sustainable and inclusive economies in our markets. British International Investment plays a key role in the UK Government’s wider plans to mobilise up to £8 billion a year of public and private sector investment in international projects by 2025.
Over the next five years, at least 30 per cent of BII’s total new commitments by value will be in climate finance. This will make it one of the world’s largest climate investors in Africa. BII is also a founding member of the 2X Challenge which has raised $10bn to empower women’s economic development. The company has investments in over 1,300 businesses in emerging economies and total assets of £7.7 billion.
For more information, visit: www.bii.co.uk
Wysa is a global leader in AI-driven mental health support, available both to individuals, through employer benefits programs and healthcare services. Wysa supports individuals with the help of an “emotionally intelligent” conversational agent which guides users through evidence-based cognitive-behavioral techniques (CBT), meditation, breathing and mindfulness exercises, as well as micro-actions to help build mental resilience skills. For employers, Wysa offers a workplace solution that caters to the full spectrum of behavioral health needs. This solution embeds into existing company benefits, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) or external health care provider networks, and can be customized by geography or cohort. Currently, Wysa has facilitated over 400 million conversations with 4.5 million users in 65 countries. Wysa’s customers include Accenture Global, Aetna International, NHS, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and the Ministry of Health in Singapore.
For more information visit www.wysa.com