Singapore-based mental health company Intellect has announced its close of a Seed funding round. The amount raised was not disclosed but Insignia Venture Partners was named as the lead investor.

The other investors that participated in the seed round were Quek Siu Rui, Co-Founder and CEO of Carousell; Time Lee, ex-partner at Sequoia; and J.J. Chai, CEO for Southeast Asia of startup consultancy xto10x.

Carousell CEO Quek Siu Rui believes Intellect can help address inadequacies in the mental health service sector.

“The mental healthcare system as it currently is, is fundamentally misaligned and unfit to work as effectively as it needs to be, obstructed by high costs, strong stigma, and an unscalable supply of professionals. We’re here to fix that,” says Theodoric Chew, Co-Founder and CEO at Intellect.

Chew also expresses optimism in the future of Intellect’s business. “We’re seeing the rapid growth over the last few months as a strong indicator of the shift towards adopting mental health into the mainstream, and that’s a big win for everyone,” he adds.

One of the exciting developments that follow the company’s seed round completion is the significant increase of Intellect’s app users. To date, Intellect’s app already has over a million installs on the Google Play Store and several thousand on iTunes, six months after launch. This makes Intellect one of the fastest-growing mental health startup companies in the world.

What makes the rapid rise of Intellect’s consumer base even better is Google’s recent announcement naming their app as one of the winners of the best apps of 2020 in the Personal Growth category. “Around the globe, people met 2020’s challenges with personal feats big and small. These apps helped us with our own endeavors, from trying new workouts to building resilience,” writes Google on the winners announcement page.

The consumer app is only one side of Intellect’s business. The company also has another product suite: a mental health benefits solution showcasing Intellect’s digitized therapy programs and telehealth services. Intellect works with a growing list of hospitals and employers across Southeast Asia to serve thousands of employees with their mental health support needs.

Intellect offers enterprise telehealth services, which it launched recently, referred to as behavioral health coaching. This new service matches employees with a personal behavioral coach to help employees in dealing with various mental health issues. These coaches are either certified life coaches or trained counselors.

Under behavioral health coaching, employees hold one-on-one online video sessions and SMS-based communications with their assigned coaches. This setup makes it easy for employees to get the support they need anytime and anywhere convenient for them.

“Our broader vision is to build a whole new end-to-end mental health care system that makes it truly made for everyone, starting from the subclinical and everyday person, all the way to the individual that needs higher-touch and more intensive care,” Chew says.

Insignia Venture Partners Principal Samir Chaibi acknowledges the importance and viability of what Intellect is offering. “In Intellect, we see a fast-scaling platform addressing a pain that has become very obvious amidst the COVID19 pandemic. We believe that pairing clinically-backed protocols with an efficient mobile-first delivery is the key to break down the barriers to access for millions of patients globally,” Chaibi says.

Intellect plans to use the seed fund it has secured for its expansion across Asia as well as for its clinical research activities. The company says it already has several in-process clinical research initiatives undertaken in partnership with multiple Australian, British, and Singaporean universities and institutions.

Mental health benefits companies are seeing increased demand in the United States and Europe. Intellect expects a similar surge in Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia, especially since mental health issues are seen as a serious concern among Asian workers. Chew describes it as a much more alarming problem because of the bigger stigma and the considerably higher population of the region.