ThoughtFull receives a $1.1 million grant to expand mental health services in Southeast Asia

Even before COVID-19, depression and anxiety were wreaking havoc on people’s well-being, and the epidemic sparked increased interest (and venture funding) in mental health businesses. While many of the most well-known mental health businesses, such as Calm or Headspace Health, are headquartered in the United States, emotional wellbeing is receiving greater attention throughout the world. A rising number of businesses in Southeast Asia, for example, are improving access to mental healthcare and assistance. ThoughtFull, one of them, revealed today that it had secured $1.1 million in initial investment, which it claims is the largest seed round ever obtained by a digital mental health business in Southeast Asia.

ThoughtFull’s ThoughtFullChat app, which was launched in 2019, links users with mental health experts for coaching or therapy sessions, as well as self-guided tools. ThoughtFullCare Pro, the startup’s software for mental health practitioners, allows them to manage and expand their online practises. ThoughtFullChat may be downloaded through the App Store and Google Play, as well as from insurers and employee benefit programmes.

The Hive SEA, Boston-based Flybridge, and Vulpes Investment Management, as well as family offices and angel investors across Asia Pacific, participated in the seed round.

Joan Low, the founder and CEO of ThoughtFull, worked as an investment banker for six years, including six years in Hong Kong at J.P. Morgan. In an email to TechCrunch, Low said she felt compelled to leave finance after seeing how difficult it was to get mental healthcare in Southeast Asia compared to “the breakneck speed of digital mental health innovations happening places like the United States and Europe where I have spent time living, working, and studying.”

ThoughtFull’s primary markets are Singapore and Malaysia, the company currently has consumers in 43 countries. Its app, which was released in 2020, comes in five languages: English, Malaysian Bahasa, Indonesian Bahasa, and Mandarin.

ThoughtFull, according to Low, works closely with local healthcare systems to customise its services to each market. For example, as the epidemic made access to care, particularly in-person consultations, more difficult, it would collaborate with The Hive Southeast Asia and Penjana Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, to digitise the country’s mental health ecosystem.

“Given the many players, structures, and outcomes involved, healthcare systems are inherently complicated.” “However, due of the difference in not just culture, but also systems—from care delivery to payor and research models,” said Low, “healthcare in Asia is extremely complicated.”

Other apps in Southeast Asia that provide digital access to mental health professionals include Intellect, which also recently raise venture funding. Low said ThoughtFull differentiates from other mental health startups by focusing on end-to-end services, giving its users personalized preventative and curative options and creating “an entirely closed feedback loop for better quality mental healthcare delivery.”

ThoughtFull’s seed round will be used for product development, including deep tech developments and clinical research.

Thoughtful is expanding the mental health services and will prove out to be a problem solver for people around the world and their concerns may decrease regarding mental health.All my best wishes to them.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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