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


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

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

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

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

Atommerce claims more than 1 million app users in South Korea and 100 enterprises clients, including Naver, NHN, Shinhan Investment, Neowiz and Seoul Metropolitan Government. About 200,000 employees of its B2B clients are currently using 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 instance, its revenue in the first quarter of 2021 grew about 1200% compared to Q1 2020. The company also says its sales have increased by an average of 400% annually for the last two years.

The startup was founded in 2015 by Kim, who had overcome depression by getting 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 U.S.

Although South Korea has been a country with the highest suicide rate among OECD nations due to various factors, including mental health issues, people were hesitant to go to experts because of the…

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