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Woebot gets $90M Funding

Meet Woebot, a personal health ally that is grounded in clinical research and powered by AI.

Woebot is a chatbot built to connect with users and helps people to lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression whether you feel “stuck, sad or anxious”. The chatbox was founded in 2017 by Dr. Alison Darcy, a University College Dublin graduate, and initiated from an idea to make psychological treatment and therapy more accessible to patients through digital means.

Using AI technology, the company Woebot Health produced a chatbot that attempts to establish a therapeutic bond with users and then assist them in acquiring strategies to improve their mental health.

Darcy believes that technology plays a big role in solving some of the problems that are related with access. She adds that people are not able to see a clinician or a doctor whenever they need help.

The Irish-founded tech company raised $90M in Series B funding. This fund raising was through San Francisco-based Jazz Venture Partners and Singapore-based Temasek with the participation of VC firms BlackRock and Owl Ventures and others.

Woebot states that the proceeds will be used to expedite the development of its relational program and expand its team in order to meet the rising global need for post pandemic mental health care.

Michael Evers, Woebot CEO, reiterates that mental health issues are a main focus of global conversation and there is a great opportunity to use innovative means to help solve real human problems.

He noted that it is pleasing to see that some of the world’s leading investment groups realize the same potential for relational technologies to involve people in their mental health and to reconstruct care. These firms are working with them hand in hand towards the company’s core vision and their commitment to widen the scope of technology-enabled mental health care.

The managing director at Owl Ventures, Ian Chiu, observed that the stress of the pandemic has produced an existing mental health crisis into something more alarming. This has been observed in adolescents in classrooms across the US and also in adults who are manifesting symptoms of anxiety and depression at a rate of four times the pre-pandemic levels.

Chiu reports that Woebot’s cutting-edge technology is a timely solution to the increasing global need for accessible mental health care.

Meghan Reynolds, a partner at Jazz Venture Partners, states they are impressed by Woebot’s work to administer accessible and quality care at a time when there is a great lack around the world for urgent mental health support.

WB001, Woebot’s digital therapeutic solution, was granted by the US Food and Drug Administration as a breakthrough device designation. It integrates cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy in order to curtail the symptoms of postpartum depression. Patients are able to access this digital therapy through their smartphone.

Woebot also wrote a study which showed evidence that its chatbot builds a therapeutic bond with its users, opposing the idea that this can only be accomplished in a human-to-human realm.

Takeaway Points:

  • Woebot is a chatbot built to connect with users and assist them to lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It functions as your coach for life’s “ups and downs”.
  • The Irish-founded tech company has raised $90M in Series B funding.
  • The proceeds will be used to expedite the development of its relational program and expand its team in order to meet the rising global need for post pandemic mental health care.
  • WB001, Woebot’s digital therapeutic solution integrates cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy in order to reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression.
  • Woebot also wrote a study which showed evidence that its chatbot builds a therapeutic bond with its users, opposing the idea that this can only be accomplished in a human-to-human realm.

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Disclaimer. The material in this post represents general information only and should not be taken to be legal advice.

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