Touchkin (Touchkin eServices Pvt. Ltd.) was founded in 2015 in Bangalore by Ramakant Vempati & Jo Aggarwal (also partners in life. Touchkin started out as an AI innovation in eldercare, for remote care. In January 2016, having raised their first angel round and launched their first product, it became clear to them that the market was not yet ready for the product. In the conflict between shutting down a just-funded startup or pursuing a product without market fit, Jo struggled with founder depression. Out of that depression was born the resolution to try to solve for mental health and the idea of Wysa was born.
Wysa, launched on World Mental Health Day in 2016, found immediate product market fit. There was significant media attention and it began to grow with word of mouth alone, being featured in books on AI in mental health and reaching over 100,000 users in the first year alone, growing to over 3 million users today, purely through organic growth.
Then in early 2018, Jo and Ramakant met Emma - a mental health nurse in the NHS who shared how Wysa was helping the adolescents she worked with in NELFT. And how important it was that it became clinically assured. She later became our clinical safety officer and led us to become the top clinically approved app by NHS.
In Feb 2018, Touchkin created it's first subsidiary Wysa Ltd in London. It began working with the NHS and won an Innovate UK grant and the first NIHR AI grant for mental health, through which it is working with three NHS sites and Imperial College to show how AI can improve patient outcomes, experience and reduce waitlists in the NHS IAPT (therapy) service.
Wysa was also one of the 11 global insuretech and health techcompanies selected by the Hartford accelerator to explore opening an office in the US and build connections with the insurance sector there. In Feb 2020, Touchkin's second subsidiary, Wysa Inc was established in the US as a Delaware Corp with initially a virtual address in Connecticut and today its own offices in Boston's Back Bay area.
2020 has been a year that has changed the world in many ways, and mental health was a big part of it. The need for digital behavioral health grew, and with it Wysa's business. Ministry of Health in Singapore adopted Wysa for its citizens and Aetna for its members. Accenture adopted Wysa across all of it's employees.
It was also the year Google Assistant Investment Fund and Boston-based W Health Ventures invested in Touchkin, to help grow its presence in the US and UK with a focus on bridging the missing middle of mental health.