Mental wellness startup MindFi is active in APAC, but aims to provide ‘culturally competent’ care in each of its markets. To do that, it is developing programs for its app, available as an employee benefit, with local providers that consider religion, gender stereotypes, racial representation, communication style and values, co-founder and CEO Bjorn Lee told TechCrunch.
Today, the Singapore-based company announced it has closed an oversubscribed $2 million starting round, with the participation of returning investors M Venture Partners and Global Founders Capital. Angel investors included Carousell co-founder Marcus Tan, Carro executive Kenji Narushima and Spin co-founder Derrick Ko.
MindFi (short for Mind Fitness) joined Y Combinator’s Summer 2021 cohort. It currently operates in the Asia-Pacific region, including Sinagpore, Hong Kong and Australia, offering its services in 16 languages. Its corporate clients include Visa, Willis Towers Watson and Patsnap. In total, MindFi’s products serve 100,000 employees at 35 employers in 15 markets.
While mental health startups have made a lot of money in the United States, especially during the pandemic, it’s still a burgeoning space in much of Asia. MindFi belongs to a cluster of startups working to change that. Others that have recently raised funds include Intellect (another Y Combinator alum) and Thoughtfull.
The MindFi app includes self-directed mental wellness programs, community forums, group therapy, and an AI-based matching system for coaches and therapists. User profiles merge data from MindFi with information from their fitness wearables, including sleep, heart rate, and daily activity.
Lee told TechCrunch that his seed funding will be used to accelerate development of its AI engine, advance the integration of physiological data from wearables into MindFi’s mental health data, and collaborate with local experts to create in-app programs in the field. major APAC markets. Although Lee said there are relatively few licensed mental health professionals available in APAC compared to the US or Europe, it is important to ensure that the programs fit into diverse cultural contexts so that users feel comfortable getting of support.
In a statement, M Ventures partner Mayank Parekh said: “Mental health has traditionally been overlooked in most countries, especially in fast-growing Asia. We believe the market is currently underserved, and as founder-first investors are we’re excited to partner with the MindFi team, bringing together complementary skills and insights to solve an important problem.”