Temasek’s Sheares Healthcare backs Asia-focused mental health startup

Southeast Asian mental health startups are increasingly attracting investor attention. Last week, Intellect announced a strategic investment from IHH Healthcare, Asia’s largest private healthcare group. Now Thoughtfull, another Asia-focused digital mental health platform, raised $4 million in a pre-Series A round led by Sheares Healthcare Group. Sheares is a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek.

The round, which Thoughtfull said was oversubscribed, also included participation from returning investors Vulpes Investment Management, The Hive Southeast Asia, global family offices and founding members of companies like Grab and Zalora. TechCrunch last covered Thoughtfull in October 2021 when it raised its funding round.

Thoughtful marks Sheares’ first investment in mental health care in Asia. Sheares’ other investments include his latest exit, a US-based senior care company called Iora Health which was acquired by One Medical.

Called ThoughtfullChat, the startup’s platform includes personalized self-guided content and progress tracking, as well as access to mental health professionals through video calls and text-based coaching.

Thoughtfull claims that since its launch in 2019, its revenue has increased 30 times in total. Over the past year, revenues have increased 10 times year over year despite economic downturns. Its network of mental health professionals now includes 57 locations in Asia and has users in 95 locations around the world. Its application is available in 11 languages.

The startup is tackling challenges like fragmented mental health systems and lack of coverage in insurance policies, making it difficult for employers to include mental wellness programs in their benefits package .

Thoughtfull says that in 2022, it became the region’s first mental health startup to partner with insurers like AIA Malaysia to give corporate clients access to mental health support through Thoughtfull’s portfolio of solutions. AIA company. It has also launched a similar partnership with FWD, another insurer, to provide access to affordable mental health care in Hong Kong and Thailand. One of the reasons he works with insurers is to make mental health care more affordable for employers and individuals.

In a prepared statement, Khoo Ee Ping, Director of Business Development at Sheares Healthcare, said, “Thoughtfull’s approach to scaling seamless, end-to-end mental healthcare aligns with the Sheares mission to invest in companies that shape the future of healthcare through innovative and patient solutions. – targeted treatments. Their successive paying partnerships clearly indicate the demand for their proposition and testify to the strength of their team.

In addition to Intellect and Thoughtfull, the nascent ecosystem of mental health startups in Southeast Asia includes MindFi, an enterprise mental health and wellness platform backed by Canva, Global Founders Capital and M Venture Partners. .


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