With support from Tiger Global, Intellect is building culturally competent mental health care for Asia.

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Startup in the field of mental health IntelligenceThe company’s ambitious goal is to be accessible in the Asia-Pacific region, yet provide local, culturally competent assistance in each of the many markets it serves. It announced today that it has added $10 million to its military budget as part of Tiger Global’s Series A expansion, bringing the round’s total to $20 million. First half Serie A was announced in January 2022..

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Other investors in the expanded round include new sponsors K3 Ventures, JAFCO Asia, Singtel Innov8 and PERSOL Holdings, with returning investors Insignia Ventures Partners and HOF Capital.

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Intellect describes it as “the largest venture round organized by any mental health company in Asia.” The capital brings Intellect’s total funding since Y Combinator’s founding in 2019 to $23 million and will be used to commercially launch other markets, expand its operations, and build its mental health system.

Intellect coverage and self-managed programs are available in 15 languages. Even though it has a consumer app, the company mainly uses the B2B2C model, offering it as an employee reward. His clients include Merck, Philips, Foodpanda, Singtel, Shopee, Omnicom Media Group and abrdn. It currently serves 3 million users in over 60 countries and has therapists and coaches in 20 countries.

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Founder and CEO Theodoric Chu told TechCrunch that he decided to increase the expansion instead of moving to Series B because the company is in a strong position and generating revenue. “In the current economic climate, we wanted to put him in a better position for the next two years and beyond so that we have a strong military budget and we don’t get sidetracked.”

Intellect mainly sells regional hubs with a large number of conglomerates and headquarters. For example, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and New Zealand are the main markets. Currently, most of his clients are from Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

The Intellect platform consists of two components. The first is a technical product that includes self-managed programs and an application. Secondly, it is a clinical team of trainers, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists.

Chu said the company works with professionals in every market to provide culturally competent care.

“It’s something we’ve been thinking very deeply about since day one,” he said. “Essentially, what makes sense for Intellect in each region. We are talking about a product that is hyper-localized for every culture, every region and country. For example, when someone wrestles in Thailand or Hong Kong, it’s very different from Singapore in terms of how much stress they have.”

Although Intellect is available in 15 languages, Chu emphasizes that its goal is not just to translate the same material.

“We work with vendors in every market, clinicians, psychologists, the team, to make sure we don’t just translate, but also have examples and scripts for the local context, and this also extends to our own vendor network,” he said. So, in addition to the application, which is now localized in almost all countries in the Asia-Pacific region, we have a whole network of local, local professionals in the field.”

When entering the Intellect for the first time in the chat, he is offered to talk to the provider. Chu said this is important because it results in maximum user retention. “Most people in Asia have never seen a professional therapist or coach, so this is a barrel of novelty for them.”

The mental health technology space in Southeast Asia has grown rapidly over the past few years. New examples include Meta-backed Ami, MindFi as well as Thoughtfulas well as a list startups focused on specific markets such as Ooca in Thailand or Naluri in Malaysia.

“It’s definitely good to see more and more players moving up and coming into this space,” Chu said. “For us, I think it means more awareness and a desire to expand the category. It’s a huge cultural shift and the push we’re building for. It’s not just a zero-sum game from the start.”

As for what differentiates Intellect, Chu said that the main thing is the desire to become a comprehensive platform for mental health care, from stand-alone programs to mental health care.

In a statement, Tiger Global partner Jay Chen said, “With a comprehensive, technology-driven, end-to-end approach, Intellect is poised to become a leader in providing access to mental health care in Asia. We are excited to partner with the Intellect team as they build a flexible, responsive and state-of-the-art system for a critical healthcare component.”

Credit: techcrunch.com /

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