● $555,000 invested by Wavemaker Partners in pre-seed round
● Heyy, is backed by prominent Angel Investors from start-up, VC community
● 10% – 14% employees of an organisation use Heyy when it is introduced
Bengaluru, NFAPost: Heyy, India’s leading mental healthcare app, announced it has raised $555,000 in a pre-seed round of funding. This is the first external fundraise for the company, and has been entirely led by Wavemaker Partners, one of the most active early-stage institutional investors in Southeast Asia.
Founded in 2021, Heyy operates in the preventative ‘emotional first-aid’ space, much before the issues become clinical or severe. Heyy has built a ground network of trained ‘Helpers’ – the first respondents in a conversation, who engage with aid-seekers for as many times as required, before recommending expert guidance.
Heyy’s Founder Ankit Malhotra said Heyy’s vision is to keep mental health care deeply human and personal while making it accessible for millions.
“It’s well known that therapy is highly stigmatised, and while digital therapeutics have tried to fill the gap, it has come at the expense of a human connection. Our Helpers create an anonymous, confidential, and safe space for users to open up and talk about their deeply personal issues. This has helped thousands reach out and seek help already,” said
Singapore-headqurtered Heyy has clocked strong growth on the basis of solid traction in its Enterprise and Consumer verticals. It has a renewal rate of 100% and 40% in the Enterprise and Consumer segments respectively. Importantly, between 10% to 14% of employees start using Heyy, in the first month when introduced in the workplace, as against the 1% to 2% adoption seen for traditional wellness programmes offered by companies.
Wavemaker Partners General Partner Gavin Lee said having spent the earlier part of his career working at the top tech companies in Asia, Ankit has garnered a wealth of operational experience along with insights into the high-performance corporate world.
“This gave the founder unique insight into the corporate mental health space, having witnessed and experienced the lack of proper care first-hand. About 14% of India’s population suffers from mental ailments, and 80% of those affected do not receive treatment for over a year – a problem Heyy, looks to solve,” said Wavemaker Partners General Partner Gavin Lee.
Wavemaker Partners General Partner Gavin Lee said Heyy stood out as a preventive care solution that retains the empathetic, human aspect yet remains accessible and scalable, translating to the company’s record-high adoption and repeat rates.
Heyy, also provides easy access to online therapy through its app, with qualified therapists in multiple languages, such as English, Hindi, and Bengali etc. A newly launched product called ‘Lifebuoys’ – bite-sized sessions of recordings and exercises – has been developed with intensive research to help individuals understand their needs better and build more confidence and resilience, both at work and outside.
Angel investors include Monks Hills Ventures; Sairee Chahal, Founder of Sheroes; Deep Bajaj, Founder of Sirona; and Anjan Bhojarajan of HealthifyMe, among others.
“Heyy, solves a pressing issue of workplace mental health concerns and offers unconditional, safe support to teams and organizations while still keeping the space personal and empathetic. Heyy,’s vision is highly relevant in the world today and one that helps people lead happier, healthier lives,” said Sairee Chahal.
“Ankit’s dedication to the cause of mental and emotional wellness is unparalleled. The clarity on where he wants to take the brand and solve issues for consumers is inspiring,” said Deep Bajaj.
“Considering the fact that mental health is a vital aspect of overall well-being, heyy, has set out to solve an important need. What Ankit has envisioned for the future has great potential to scale globally too and I am excited to witness the impact that Heyy, is going to bring about over the coming years,” said Anjan Bhojarajan.
One in 10 people globally live with a mental health condition, and estimates suggest that poor mental health costs the world economy US$2.5 trillion per year. In India, the free or low-cost access provided by mental health care apps is set to further expand the market from its current size of about $4 billion.
Heyy, was founded by Ankit Malhotra in 2021, with a mission to make mental health care truly accessible. Its vision is encapsulated in the logo, which depicts the word ‘Heyy,’ – one of the most common conversation starters. Drawing from his deep personal experience, Ankit seeks to encourage people to get help when they need it. Heyy, is now a team that spans 5 time zones and multiple nationalities, driven to make accessible and personal mental healthcare a reality.
About Wavemaker Partners:
Wavemaker Partners is Southeast Asia’s go-to VC firm investing in the early-stage enterprise, deep tech, and sustainability startups. Since 2012, it has backed 170+ companies, of which 140+ (85%) are in enterprise or deep tech. The firm has over US$300 million in AUM across four funds in the region, and has seen over 10 exits valued at close to US$700 million. Today, 75% of Wavemaker’s active portfolio startups in Southeast Asia are aligned with at least one UNDP Sustainable Development Goal.