Komodo, a student wellbeing platform based in New Zealand, has announced the close of a NZ$1.8 million ($1.28 million) Seed round led by Folklore Ventures with investment from Icehouse Ventures and Flying Fox Ventures. A number of private investors also participated in the round, including Culture Amp’s co-founder Rod Hamilton and Director of People Science, Chloe Hamman, multiple leaders from Education Perfect, as well as Kirsti Grant, Director of People Experience at Auror and previously of Vend.

Komodo is a wrap-around software solution that leverages data and insights gleaned from psychologist-built surveys to help schools identify at-risk students and mitigate the impact of common issues such as harassment, cyberbullying, and depression at the onset, before developing into crises.

The startup, which completed Startmate’s Accelerator Summer 21 cohort, currently works with a number of schools and partners across New Zealand and Australia including Marist College Ashgrove (Queensland), St Andrew’s College (Christchurch), the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA), Independent Schools of New Zealand and the Council of British International Schools.

With the funding, Komodo will further develop its platform and services, onboard more psychologists to the team, and fuel its expansion into schools across New Zealand and Australia at a time when wellbeing support is critical as students, their families, and schools continue to navigate the fall out of the pandemic.

According to the World Health Organisation, half of all mental health disorders emerge by the age of 14, and suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 19 year-olds around the world. Komodo aims to empower staff with a more proactive wellbeing management strategy so that all students can thrive, in and out of the classroom.

“Today’s students face many unprecedented risks to their wellbeing, amplified by an ongoing pandemic that is sure to cause long-lasting effects on their behaviour and wellbeing if we do not act,” said Chris Bacon, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Komodo.

“We believe that harnessing the power of science, psychology and technology can help students thrive in the classroom and beyond. This round of funding positions us to expand our reach to more students and to equip more schools with the tools needed to move from intervention to prevention,” he added.

“Komodo has expanded rapidly, and gives every student a voice when they need it most and empowers staff to proactively approach wellbeing management–a need that is unfortunately exacerbated by the pandemic. We’re proud to lead Komodo’s seed round and back Chris and Jack’s vision to remove barriers to seeking wellbeing support as early as possible,” said Folklore Investor Dan Fleming.

Getting help for your mental health is okay

Featured image credits: Komodo