Touchkin, a company that has developed Wysa – a chatbot for mental health – announced raising $1.3 million in seed funding from Kae Capital, as well as angel investors.
While angel investors had a part in funding the money for Wysa, the funding round was led by Kae Capital. Kae is a venture capital fund based in India that invests in seed and early stage ventures. The firm invests in companies that offer innovative solutions for gaps in the market. Their focus is invested in growth, innovation, and leadership. The team has broad experience helping companies grow, filling market gaps, and helping to create winning companies.
Kae Capital has been known to invest in a number of companies before Wysa. Some of these include 1Mg, Trypah, Hypernova Interactive, LoanTap, Fynd, and Parentune. Members of the team include Shubhankar Bhattacharya, Navin Honagudi, Vidushi Kamani, Nita Mirchandani, Sasha Mirchandani, Nisa Mohamedi, Devansh Sanghavi, and Amit Singh.
Wysa was created for users with behavioral and mental health issues and offers empathetic, anonymous conversations. These conversations are based on evidence-based techniques known to help those with mental illness. The company has stated that over three million conversations have been had by individuals in at least 30 companies.
Jo Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, said, “In the last month, three people wrote to us to say that Wysa saved their life. It blew our minds that by providing an empathetic ear, even an AI bot could help people hold on when they felt they had no one to turn to.”
Wysa began as a side project for Touchkin but soon grew. The co-founder notes that the technology used can detect behavioral health issues from phone sensors and engage needed individuals in chat. Some of the uses of Wysa include smoking cessation, diabetes, anxiety, and disability support. It also works to improve adherence to a health plan and lower healthcare costs.
Vidushi Kamani, Venture Partner at Kae Capital and an investor in Wysa, said, “Combining passive sensing technology with a personalized AI coach changes the economics of the behavioral health and wellness industry globally. With Wysa, providers can increase the number of people supported per coach by 10-100X, with increased engagement, better monitoring and improved self-management.”
The app helps users identify thought styles that lead to a shift in mood and helps users through a process. It helps users understand their moods through a diary, and has been known to help increase positive moods among participants.
Part of the funding is going to be used to bring Wysa to the insurance world through a collaboration with global insurance company, Swiss Re.
Wysa could be an excellent addition to the healthcare field, with many people suffering from mental illnesses. The healthcare world is quickly becoming a part of the new technology landscape and Wysa could add mental health to the list. Watching where the company goes after funding will tell us a lot more about the feasibility of this kind of technology for those with health problems.