Businessa Korean startup that helps users connect with mental health professionals through a MiNDCAFE mobile app, plans to scale its service to grow with a $16.7 million Series B, which it surpassed three times in two months.
With recent funding, Atommerce plans to enhance artificial intelligence and machine learning technology for its platform and invest in digital therapeutics specializing in mental illness. Also, the resources will be used to increase your staff.
The Seoul-based startup offers a virtual therapy program and mental health benefits solution for employers. CEO Kyu-Tae Kim told Ploonge that Atommerce wants to build an ecosystem where patients, human experts and artificial intelligence interact to deal with mental illness, adding the AI chatbot service capable of giving therapy like a human expert. The company’s AI RONI chatbot, launched in December, supports human professionals by providing recommended responses, Kim said.
Atommerce claims over 1 million app users in South Korea and 100 enterprise customers including Naver, NHN, Shinhan Investment, Neowiz and Seoul Metropolitan Government. About 200,000 employees of its B2B customers are currently using their 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 by 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 past two years.
The startup was founded in 2015 by Kim, who overcame depression by going to 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.
Although South Korea has been a country with the highest suicide rate among OECD countries due to a number of factors, including mental health issues, people were hesitant to seek out specialists because of the stigma surrounding mental health issues, Kim said. But that has changed in recent years. Now, most of its users are MZ-generation adult women in the country, Kim added.
Atommerce plans to enter Japan in the first half of 2022 and intends to penetrate North America by the end of the year. The company’s service will be fully localized in terms of languages and UI design, such as UX and UI, Kim told Ploonge. When asked about its upcoming financing plan, the company is considering increasing Series C in Q1 2023.
The latest round brings the company’s total funding amount to nearly $26 million. Series B was led by Hashed, with participation from E&Investment, K2 Investment and Samsung Next. Existing sponsors 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. In addition, Atommerce will increase access to the mental care ecosystem.