MindFi, a mental health firm based in APAC, seeks to provide “culturally competent” care in each of its markets. To do so, it collaborates with local suppliers to create programmes for its app, which are accessible as an employee benefit and take into account religion, gender stereotypes, racial representation, communication style, and beliefs.
Now the Singapore-based startup has closed an oversubscribed $2M seed round which saw participation from returning investors M Venture Partners and Global Founders Capital. Angel investors were Carousell co-founder Marcus Tan, Carro executive Kenji Narushima and Spin co-founder Derrick Ko.
The new funding will allow MindFi to expand its AI-driven product development, localise in key markets, and pursue its vision of “culturally competent” wellness in a region where cultural values like interpersonal harmony, loss of face, and filial piety have a strong influence on people’s willingness to seek mental health services and support.
MindFi (short for Mind Fitness) was a part of the summer 2021 batch at Y Combinator. It presently runs in 16 languages throughout the Asia-Pacific area, including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. Visa, Willis Towers Watson, and Patsnap are among its corporate clients. In total, 100,000 employees are served by MindFi’s products, which are used by 35 companies in 15 regions.
While mental health startups have received a lot of funding in the United States, particularly during the pandemic, the sector is still in its infancy throughout much of Asia. MindFi is one of a slew of businesses attempting to change this. Intellect (another Y Combinator alum) and Thoughtfull are two more startups that have recently raised money.
“A mental health solution for Asia cannot be copy-pasted over from other regions,” explains Bjorn Lee, Chief Executive Officer of MindFi. “Wellbeing is multi-dimensional, and we seek to build a localised understanding of wellbeing that takes physical and cultural differences into account. To achieve this, we leverage self-reported assessments, wearable data, guidance from culturally-intelligent care providers and so much more. Ultimately our goal is to drive the #MindFitness movement and champion a future where people are empowered to take charge of their mental wellbeing.”
Mayank Parekh, Partner at M Venture Partners, remarks, “Mental health has been traditionally overlooked in most countries, but more so in fast-growth Asia. We feel the market is currently poorly served, and as founder-first investors, we are thrilled to work with the MindFi team, who together bring complementary skills and insight to solve a significant problem.”
Here’s what it offers
Self-directed mental wellness programmes, community forums, group therapy, and an AI-based matching mechanism for coaches and therapists are all included in the MindFi app. Users’ accounts combine information from MindFi and fitness wearables, such as sleep, heart rate, and daily activities. and inquisitive.
Professor Kua Ee Heok of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS, and MindFi’s Medical Advisor, explains, “While there is a scramble for new health solutions in Asia, the region is very diverse in culture, language and illness behaviour. Technology products need to account for the unique cultural beliefs, mores, nuances and feelings of their users in order to deliver the best types of utility value on a regular basis. I am glad that MindFi is committed to this vision.”
MindFi is a smartphone app that provides 24/7 guided self-care programmes, community forums and group therapy, as well as intelligent matching with a variety of coaches and therapists. HR leaders and corporate clients can use anonymized information to track and support the health and productivity of their staff. The program’s personalised suggestions are based on a user’s individual Human Wellbeing Profile (HWP), which combines mental health data from MindFi app usage, such as moods and stress levels, with physical health data from wearables, such as sleep, heart rates, and daily activity.
MindFi competes with the likes of Foogin, Waking Up, Sloth, Connected Breath.