BlackRock-Managed Funds and Owl Ventures also join new and existing investors to transform mental health care
Woebot Health today announced it has closed a $90 million Series B funding round, bringing total investment in the company to $114 million. The round was co-led by existing investor JAZZ Venture Partners and Temasek with participation from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Private Equity Partners and Owl Ventures. Additional participants include Mirae Asset Capital, Kicker Ventures, Alumni Ventures and Gaingels as well as existing investors NEA and AI Fund. Woebot Health will use the proceeds to accelerate further development of its relational platform and technologies, advance its lead digital therapeutic candidates, and expand its team and go-to-market activities to meet surging global demand for mental health care.
“We’re at a moment when mental health issues are front and center in a global conversation, and there’s incredible momentum to apply cutting-edge approaches to help solve real human problems,” said Woebot Health Chief Executive Officer Michael Evers. “It’s gratifying that some of the world’s leading investment groups see the same potential for relational technologies to deeply engage people in their mental health at scale, and to transform care. We’re thrilled they are aligned on our core vision and energized by their commitment to advance the next frontier of technology-enabled mental health care.”
Woebot Health was founded in 2017 and has rapidly emerged as a pioneer in the development of relational tools and technologies for mental health. Core to its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered health platform is Woebot, a relational agent. Shown to create a human-level therapeutic bond with users, Woebot translates proven therapeutic approaches into engaging, responsive and scalable software applications, spurring a future where digital solutions can be an integral part of a comprehensive ecosystem of care.
“We have long believed in Woebot Health’s mission to transform mental health care. At a time when so many people around the world lack critical mental health support, the company’s work to deliver scalable, accessible, and quality care has been truly impressive. With this new funding accelerating growth, it will be easier than ever for people to get the on-demand support they need and deserve,” said Meghan Reynolds, Partner at JAZZ Venture Partners.
“The stress of the pandemic has made an existing mental health crisis even more alarming. We’re seeing this firsthand in adolescents in classrooms across the country and in adults who are reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression at a rate four times pre-pandemic levels,” said Ian Chiu, Managing Director at Owl Ventures. “Woebot Health’s innovative technology has them well-positioned to serve the amplified global need for accessible mental health care. We are proud to support the company as it continues to scale and bring new digital therapies to market, helping people learn the strategies and interventions they need to improve their mental health.”
The financing comes on the heels of several major milestones for Woebot Health. In May 2021, the company’s WB001 solution, the first digital therapeutic designed to reduce the burden of postpartum depression, received FDA Breakthrough Device designation. Also in May, the company published a significant large-scale study which provided evidence that Woebot establishes a therapeutic bond with users—a construct long thought to be the unique domain of human-to-human interactions. The study’s findings support the idea that AI and natural language processing (NLP) technologies have the power to help solve fundamental industry problems related to scalability and access and play a pivotal role in the transformation of mental health care delivery.