Atommerce wants to scale its mental health platform with $16.7M funding – TechCrunch

atommercea Korean startup that helps users connect with mental health professionals through a MiNDCAFE mobile app, plans to scale its service for growth with a $16.7 million Series B, which was oversubscribed three times in two months.

With the recent funding, Atommerce plans to enhance artificial intelligence and machine learning technology for its platform and invest in specialized digital therapies for mental illness. In addition, the proceeds will be used to increase your workforce.

The Seoul-based startup offers a virtual therapy program and mental health benefits solution for employers. CEO Kyu-Tae Kim told TechCrunch that Atommerce wants to build an ecosystem where patients, human experts, and artificial intelligence interact to tackle mental illness by adding AI chatbot service capable of providing therapy like a human expert. The company’s RONI artificial intelligence chatbot, which launched in December, supports human professionals by providing recommended responses, Kim said.

Atommerce claims to have more than 1 million app users in South Korea and 100 business clients, including Naver, NHN, Shinhan Investment, Neowiz, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Nearly 200,000 employees of its B2B clients currently use its app through MiNDCAFE’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The company says it has more than 250 mental health specialists.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the company’s growth. For example, its revenue in the first quarter of 2021 grew about 1,200% compared to the first quarter of 2020. The company also says that its sales have increased by an average of 400% per year for the last two years.

The startup was founded in 2015 by Kim, who had overcome depression by receiving therapy while studying in the United States. When he returned to South Korea, Kim decided to start MiNDCAFE, realizing that it is difficult to get help from mental health professionals due to social stigma, unlike in the US.

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Although South Korea has been a country with highest suicide rate among OECD nations due to various factors, including mental health problems, people were hesitant to go to experts because of the stigma around mental health problems, Kim said. But it has changed in recent years. Now, most of its users are adult women of the MZ generation in the country, Kim added.

Atommerce plans to enter Japan in the first half of 2022 and aims to penetrate North America by the end of the year. The company’s service will be fully localized in terms of languages ​​and user interface design such as UX and UI, Kim told TechCrunch. When asked about its upcoming financing plan, the company is considering raising Series C in the first quarter of 2023.

Image credits: MiNDCAFE application

The latest round brings the company’s total funding amount to nearly $26 million. Series B was led by Hashed, with the participation of E&Investment, K2 Investment and Samsung Next. Existing backers Insight Equity Partners and Korean pharmaceutical company GC Green Cross Holdings also participated in the round.

Kim said in a statement that the investment will help MiNDCAFE accelerate its growth with a mission to support people’s mental health through technology. Additionally, Atommerce will increase access to the mental care ecosystem.

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