Singapore-based corporate mental health and wellness platform MindFi has announced a $750,000 (S$1 million) pre-Seed funding from an array of investors such as venture capital firms iGlobe Partners, and M Venture Partners (MVP). Angel investors also joined the round: Koh Boon Hwee, Patsnap Founder & CEO Jeffrey Tiong, Zopim Co-Founder Lim Qing Ru, Natasha Foong, Aakash Degwekar, and Shadab Farooqui.

The funding comes on the heels of MindFi’s acceptance into Y Combinator (YC)’s Summer 2021 program. MindFi plans to utilize the funding to accelerate product development and localization for key markets in Asia and to further build Asia’s largest culturally competent team of mental health experts, innovators, and researchers.

Through its mobile app, MindFi’s innovative technology delivers personalized recommendations, 24/7 guided self-care programs, and intelligent matching with coaches and therapists. Inspired by the World Health Organization’s Well-being Index (WHO-5), MindFi recommendations are powered by a proprietary AI algorithm that builds a unique psychometric profile for the user. Accuracy is enhanced by the user’s daily steps, sleep, mood, breathing and heart rates.

All employee data are anonymized and aggregated to generate team-level analytics reports that enable HR leaders to make data-driven decisions on workforce health and performance in an evolving workplace environment. According to MindFi, data confidentiality and cultural relevance are key product design philosophies of the platform, which is especially important in Asia where stigma on mental health is pervasive.

MindFi is also bringing onboard Erica Johnson, Co-Founder of unicorn startup Modern Health (YC Winter 2018), as an executive adviser. A startup industry veteran, she has founded and advised multiple companies in the United States. “As someone of mixed Asian heritage, I’m excited to help grow some of what has worked well in other markets to the key Asian region. It’s well past time that the entire globe drops the stigma around mental health and I’m proud and excited to assist with MindFi’s efforts on that journey,” she said.

“Erica brings her deep operational expertise from Silicon Valley to help us accelerate our growth in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific market. Unlike the US, Asia is more diverse and needs cultural competence in the design of our mental health solutions. we are thrilled to work with her to innovate and differentiate our products,” said Bjorn Lee, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of MindFi.

Mental health and the future of work

According to Cigna’s 360 Well-Being Survey in 2021, employees prioritize mental health, above physical health,  as the most important influence on their overall well-being. The global COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated uncertainty. Employees are thus dealing with anxiety at work, isolation, financial stress, and health worries about family and loved ones. These issues have led to reduced productivity, increased absenteeism and presenteeism (lost productivity hours when an employee is at work but not fully functioning), which has highlighted the need for company leaders to modernize their approach towards mental wellbeing.

Over the past six months, MindFi has tripled its employee headcount and its customer base with over 30 enterprise clients across Asia. It touts a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 50 and 4.8 out of 5 stars in employee program ratings. Sixty-eight percent of employees experience an improvement in mental well-being within 1 month of usage of the MindFi app. Third-party research has observed that regular usage of MindFi reduces up to 30 percent of their depressive symptoms.

“The future of work is mind fitness. I started this company because I spent 10 years struggling with late nights, anxiety attacks and chest pains from work stress, which are all symptoms of an unfit mind, or poor mental health. You shouldn’t need a PhD in psychology or neuroscience to know how to de-stress,” said Lee in a statement.

“In the modern workplace, we use our minds more than our bodies, and yet society cares more about body fitness than mind fitness. We are leading a #MindFirst movement to complement the traditional body-first approach, which will proactively impact the culture of workplace wellbeing. The better we shape the human mind, the better we shape our future,” he added.

“This pandemic has shown how critical mental wellness is in maintaining high-performance teams. MindFi is ready to disrupt the corporate wellness space with a digital wellbeing platform that makes ‘mind fitness’ easily accessible to all employees. With the growing emphasis on mental wellness in recent years, we see MindFi as a promising player in propelling this movement starting in Asia. We are excited to be part of this journey with them,” Soo Boon Koh, Founder & Managing Partner of iGlobe Partners said.

Prominent psychiatrist Dr. Kua Ee Heok, a Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine of the National University of Singapore, said: “Mental health is the bedrock of creativity and resilience. Mental resilience is our ability to rebound from the adversity we currently face. Many countries, like Singapore, have successful initiatives to strengthen their epidemiological response to the covid pandemic. However, organizations should also provide initiatives that will promote mental resilience to their employees. The MindFi team has the right vision and solution to nurture mental resilience.”

Getting help for your mental health is okay

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