MindFi, a Singapore-based corporate health and wellness platform, has raked in SG$ 1 million ($750,000) in pre-seed funding.
The investing round was participated by venture capital firms iGlobe Partners, M Venture Partners, as well as angel investors like Singaporean businessman Koh Boon Hwee; Jeffery Tiong, CEO of innovation intelligence platform developer PatSnap; and live chat platform Zopim co-founder Lim Qing Ru, among others.
WHAT IT DOES
Launched in 2017, MindFi started out by offering free and subscription-based membership plans that provide mindfulness exercises and cognitive behavioural therapy programmes. Initially a consumer-focused business, it later forayed into the corporate health and wellness space.
Available on both iOS and Android devices, the mobile app now caters to corporate clients, delivering personalised recommendations, 24/7 guided self-care programmes and intelligent matching with coaches and therapists.
According to a press statement, the MindFi recommendations – inspired by the World Health Organization’s Well-being Index (WHO-5) – are developed through a proprietary AI algorithm that creates a user’s unique psychometric profile. Accuracy is further enhanced by recording users’ daily steps, sleep, mood, breathing and heart rates.
The platform anonymises employee data that it collects and then aggregates them to generate a team-level analytics report to support human resource leaders in forming data-driven decisions on workforce health and performance.
MindFi claims that 68% of employees showed improvements in their mental wellbeing within a month of app usage, while third-party research revealed that regular usage of the app reduces depressive symptoms by up to 30%.
According to the company, data confidentiality and cultural relevance are its key product design philosophies. Presently, the company caters to over 30 enterprise clients across the region.
WHY IT MATTERS
MindFi mentioned in a media release that it is going to use its fresh funds to hasten its product development and localisation for key Asian markets. It also aims to build the region’s “largest culturally competent team of mental health experts, innovators and researchers”.
It was also announced in the press release that Erica Johnson, co-founder of Silicon Valley mental health startup Modern Health will join the company as its executive adviser.
THE LARGER TREND
Employees have high regard for their mental wellbeing over physical health, according to Hong Kong-based health service firm Cigna’s latest 360 Well-Being Survey. MindFi states that COVID-19 led to “reduced productivity, increased absenteeism and presenteeism” among workers. It added that these issues highlighted the need for company leaders to modernise their approach towards mental health.
Based on McKinsey & Co.’s recent report, around 24 in 100 employees were found needing mental-wellness support, such as counselling and psychotherapy, while one in 100 required acute care for their mental health needs. The other 75 employees still required support that fosters mental wellness. Using digital tools is one way to deliver their needed support, the report suggested.
To support healthcare workers’ mental wellbeing, Indian companies like Innerhour and Roche Diagnostics India have extended free online services to help them cope with stress, anxiety and depression during the pandemic. MindFi also offers healthcare workers free access to its subscription-based programmes through its partnership with the Labour Movement’s Healthcare Academy in Singapore.
The corporate wellness market in the Asia-Pacific is expected to hit a value of $7.4 billion by 2024 from $3.4 billion in 2015, according to a prediction by Transparency Market Research.
ON THE RECORD
“You shouldn’t need a PhD in psychology or neuroscience to know how to de-stress. MindFi is the first product that takes the guesswork out of daily lifestyle choices with personalised and objective data,” MindFi Founder and CEO Bjorn Lee said.
“In the modern workplace, we use our minds more than our bodies and yet society cares more about body fitness than mind fitness. We are leading a #MindFirst movement to complement the traditional body-first approach, which will proactively impact the culture of workplace wellbeing. The better we shape the human mind, the better we shape our future,” he added.