Indian mental health app hey bags pre-seed funding

Mental health startup heyy has raised $555,000 in a pre-seed funding round led by Wavemaker Partners, a Southeast Asian fledgling institutional investor.

The investment round was also joined by angel investors, such as Sairee Chahal of Sheroes and Anjan Bhojarajan of HealthifyMe.

WHAT IT DOES

The startup launched last year operates an app that provides preventive mental health care to individual consumers and company employees. It manages a network of psychologists – called Helpers – who are available 24 hours a day to talk to users.

The Heyy app is available on both Android and iOS devices and also provides access to online therapy with therapists in multiple languages ​​such as English, Hindi and Bengali. In addition, it offers Lifebuoy which consists of short recording sessions and exercises to help users deal with personal or professional challenges.

WHY IT MATTER

About one in seven people in India suffers from mental health problems, which could cost the Indian economy an estimated $1 trillion by 2030, according to the World Health Organization.

While digital therapies are increasingly available to fill the gap in access to care, they come “at the cost of human connection,” said heyy founder Ankit Malhotra. It is for this reason that the startup has built a network of “Helpers” who provide an “anonymous, confidential and safe space” where people can open up and talk about their personal problems. Heyy’s vision, Malhotra said, is to keep mental health care “deeply human and personal” while making it accessible to many people.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

In the midst of a pandemic that has brought many challenges that people have faced, health technology companies have InnerHour and Roche Diagnostics India led the way to broaden access to mental health care for burnout health professionals. The mental health startup teamed up with consumer goods company Godrej to provide free digital mental health services to doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Roche, on the other hand, developed the REACH wellness app that supports the mental health of health professionals.

In other news, Indian cybersecurity consultant Panacea Infosec, along with human resource R&D company Panacea Bioedge, has partnered with US-based mental health company Healmed Solutions to introduce an AI-powered platform in India. One of the features of the The Panacea Healmed platform is a mental health assessment tool for employers that supports self-management of employees’ mental well-being.

ON THE REGISTRATION

“About 14% of the Indian population suffers from mental illness and 80% of those affected have not received treatment for over a year – a problem that heyy seems to be solving. Heyy stood out as a preventative care solution that preserves the empathetic, human aspect yet remain accessible and scalable, which translates into the company’s record high adoption and replication rates,” said Gavin Lee, general partner at Wavemaker Partners.