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Exclusive: Google-Backed Wysa To Raise Over INR 34 Cr From W Health Global, pi Ventures, Others

Exclusive: Google-Backed Wysa To Raise Over INR 34 Cr From W Health Global, pi Ventures, Others

The funds will be raised from W Health Global, PI Ventures, Kae Capital, Beeline Impex, Shangrila Infotech and Kateel Software

Founded in 2015 by Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati, Wysa is an AI-driven virtual coach which combines empathetic listening with evidence-based therapeutic techniques like cognitive behavioural therapy

The company last raised funds in March this year in a venture round led by Google Assistant Investments, worth an undisclosed amount

Bengaluru-based mental health startup Wysa is looking to raise INR 34.2 Cr from various investors. The company, which raised funds from Google Assistant in March this year, is preparing for a fresh round amid the deepening mental health crisis in India given the devastation of lives and livelihoods in the second wave of the Covid pandemic

According to the company’s filing with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Wysa will offer 10 equity shares at a face value of INR 1 per share and a premium of INR 8,631 each, and 39,606 Series A3 preference shares at a face value of INR 10 per share and a premium of INR 8,622 each to various investors. The funds will be raised from W Health Global, pi Ventures, Kae Capital, Beeline Impex, Shangrila Infotech and Kateel Software. 

Founded in 2015 by Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati, Wysa is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven virtual coach which combines empathetic listening with evidence-based therapeutic techniques like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), meditation and motivational interviewing. 

Over four completed funding rounds, Wysa has raised $3.9 Mn (INR 28.72 Cr). In December 2020, Inc42 had reported exclusively that Wysa was looking to raise funds from Google. The company then announced its investment from Google Assistant in March, as part of the Google Assistant Investments program.

Wysa claims that in its lifetime, the mental health platform has impacted 10 Mn lives across 65 countries. It claims to have 3 Mn users and has facilitated 100 Mn conversations with 2 Mn CBT breakthroughs. 

Besides enabling free sessions, the company charges a subscription fee for the Wysa Coach feature, which is accessible at INR 1.9K per month. Here a user gets access to one or two sessions of 30-45 minutes each week. As compared to walk-in therapy sessions which are somewhere around INR 800-1,000 for a 60 minutes session, the Wysa plan is more affordable. The company also offers paid plans for employers and their workforce. 

A notable feature of Wysa is that it doesn’t require users to register themselves with their full details. Anyone can start chatting on Wysa using a random username. In an interview with Inc42 in October 2019, Wysa cofounder Ramakant Vempati had talked about the importance of confidentiality in mental therapy, since there’s a societal stigma attached to mental health problems. 

He added that psychologists claim that revealing one’s mental health struggles to other people makes for about 80% of the problem. “So when you are anonymous, and you are doing it over chat. The fear of being seen or judged for what someone is going through is drastically reduced,” he told Inc42.

In the mental health space, Wysa competes with other Indian startups such as Cure.fit vertical Mind.fit, YourDOST, Pankaj Chaddah-founded MINDHOUSE, Trijog, YourHour, Headspace, InnerHour and more. 

Mumbai-based InnerHour raised $5.2 Mn in its Series A round from venture capital firm Lightbox, while Capricorn Ventures, Micasa Investments, Medanta CEO Pankaj Sahni, Info Edge India CEO Hitesh Oberoi, True North’s Ashish Bhargava, Oxford Lifesciences also participated. In addition to digital self-help tools, it also offers live therapist sessions in eight Indian languages through a network of 120 therapists across 60 cities in India.

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