Melancholy and nervousness had been taking a critical toll on peoples’ well-being even earlier than COVID-19, and the pandemic prompted extra curiosity (and enterprise capital) in psychological well being startups. Whereas most of the highest profile psychological well being startups, like Calm or Headspace Well being, are primarily based in the US, extra consideration can be being paid to emotional wellness all over the world. In Southeast Asia, for instance, a rising listing of startups is growing entry to psychological healthcare and help. Certainly one of them, ThoughtFull, introduced at the moment it has raised $1.1 million USD in seed funding, which it says one of many largest seed rounds raised by a digital psychological well being startup in Southeast Asia to this point.
Based in 2019, ThoughtFull’s ThoughtFullChat app connects customers to psychological well being professionals for teaching classes or remedy, and likewise has self-guided instruments. The startup’s app for psychological well being professionals, referred to as ThoughtFullCare Professional, allows them to handle and scale their on-line practices. ThoughtFullChat is accessible for obtain by means of the App Retailer and Google Play, or by means of insurers and worker profit applications.
Traders in its seed spherical embody The Hive SEA, Boston-based Flybridge and Vulpes Funding Administration, together with household workplaces and angel buyers within the Asia Pacific area.
Earlier than launching ThoughtFull, founder and chief govt officer Joan Low was an funding banker, together with six years at J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong. Low advised FiratNews in an e mail that she felt compelled to go away finance after observing how tough it was to entry psychological healthcare in Southeast Asia, in comparison with “the breakneck pace of digital psychological well being improvements occurring locations such because the U.S. and Europe the place I’ve hung out residing, working and finding out.”
ThoughtFull’s foremost working markets are Singapore and Malaysia, however it now has customers in 43 international locations. Its app, which launched in 2020, is accessible in 5 languages: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Mandarin and Cantonese, together with coaches who’re additionally fluent in Tamil, Thai, Vietnamese and Tagalog.
Low mentioned ThoughtFull works intently with native healthcare techniques to make sure that its providers are tailor-made to every market. For instance, it can companion with The Hive Southeast Asia and Penjana Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, to digitize the nation’s psychological well being ecosystem after the pandemic made entry to care, together with in-person consultations, harder.
“Healthcare techniques are inherently advanced given the assorted stakeholders, buildings and outcomes which might be concerned. That mentioned, healthcare in Asia is especially intricate due to the variety in not simply tradition, but in addition techniques—from care supply to payor and analysis fashions,” mentioned Low. “This is the reason you see much less of the international gamers coming into Asian healthcare in a giant approach as limitations to entry are excessive.”
Different apps in Southeast Asia that present digital entry to psychological well being professionals embody Mind, which additionally not too long ago elevate enterprise funding. Low mentioned ThoughtFull differentiates from different psychological well being startups by specializing in end-to-end providers, giving its customers customized preventative and healing choices and creating “a completely closed suggestions loop for higher high quality psychological healthcare supply.”
ThoughtFull’s seed spherical will probably be used for product growth, together with deep tech developments and scientific analysis.