Wysa, an AI-based (artificial intelligence) conversational bot has raised about $2 million in a pre-series A round of funding led by pi Ventures, with participation from Kae Capital and other investors.
The startup had raised an earlier round of $1.3 million in seed funding from Kae Capital and angel investors in 2017. It plans to use the new funding to strengthen its technology base and for expansion.
Founded by Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati three years ago, Wysa is an AI-based ‘emotionally intelligent’ bot, a virtual coach that combines empathetic listening with evidence-based therapeutic techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), meditation and motivational interviewing, to make mental health accessible at scale.It has helped over 1.2 million people from more than 30 countries.
“Wysa has been co-designed by therapists, users, and designers over hundreds of iterations and 80 million conversations. We combine the free AI with unlimited support from a qualified therapist, still anonymously, over chat to make it easy to get help”, Jo Aggarwal, co-founder of the company said in a statement.
“Mental health could very well be the next big epidemic to hit the human race. Training more human therapists will not bridge the massive supply and demand gap. This is where Wysa powered by an AI engine comes in. It is scalable and is available for anyone to chat at any time in total privacy. We do believe that Wysa can create a zero-stigma pathway to support people who are struggling, and has a real chance of solving depression and mental health challenges at scale”, Manish Singhal, founding partner, pi Ventures, said.