Temasek’s Sheares Healthcare Invests in Asia-focused Mental Health Startup, Thoughtfull, Raising $4M in Pre-Series A Round

Southeast Asia's mental health startups are attracting more investment from healthcare giants. Intellect recently received a strategic investment from IHH Healthcare

Southeast Asia’s mental health startups are attracting more investment from healthcare giants. Intellect recently received a strategic investment from IHH Healthcare, Asia’s largest private healthcare group. Another startup, Thoughtfull, which focuses on digital mental health platforms in Asia, has raised $4 million in a pre-Series A funding round. The investment was led by Sheares Healthcare Group, a subsidiary of Temasek.

The oversubscribed round saw participation from Vulpes Investment Management, The Hive Southeast Asia, global family offices, and founders of companies such as Grab and Zalora. Sheares’ previous investments include Iora Health, a US-based senior care company acquired by One Medical. This is Sheares’ first investment in mental healthcare in Asia.

ThoughtfullChat, the startup’s platform, offers self-guided content and personalized progress tracking. It also provides access to mental health professionals via video calls and text-based coaching. Since its launch in 2019, the startup claims that its revenue has grown 30 times. Despite economic downturns, the startup experienced a year-over-year revenue growth of 10 times. It has 57 locations in Asia and users in 95 locations around the world. The app is available in 11 languages.

The startup tackles issues such as fragmented mental healthcare systems and a lack of insurance coverage for mental health. This makes it difficult for employers to provide mental health benefits packages for their employees. Thoughtfull has partnered with insurers such as AIA Malaysia and FWD to provide affordable mental healthcare for both corporate employers and individuals.

Sheares Healthcare’s chief corporate development officer, Khoo Ee Ping, stated that Thoughtfull’s seamless approach to scaling end-to-end mental healthcare aligns with Sheares’ mission to invest in innovative and patient-focused healthcare companies. In addition to Thoughtfull and Intellect, Southeast Asia’s mental healthcare startup ecosystem includes MindFi, a corporate mental health and wellness platform backed by Canva, Global Founders Capital, and M Venture Partners.

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