Upheal raises $1.05M and launches the first AI-powered platform for mental health professionals
Upheal celebrated the first anniversary on October 1st. What a great time to share with the world what we’re up to! Today I want to talk about two important company milestones and one personal story. I’ll try to capture the importance and magic of Upheal and provide a peek into its future.
Milestone 1: Early access is now available 🙌
The first milestone and the most important one is that we launched an early access program. This means that if you’re a mental health professional like a therapist, counselor, social worker or coach doing 1:1 sessions, you can start using Upheal. The early access is free. Join the waiting list and we’ll be in touch soon (well, depending on our capacity!).
Milestone 2: Pre-seed funding raised 🥳
The second milestone is that we have raised our first external funding to accelerate the product development towards our vision. The funding brings a set of fantastic partners and advisors that bring not only financial resources but even more the knowledge and experience helping us grow where we might not yet know how.
Specifically, Upheal has raised $1.05M in the pre-seed round led by KAYA VC with participation from Credo Ventures, and Calm/Storm Ventures. This round is supported by a great team of courageous angels including Juraj Masar (co-founder & CEO, Better Stack) Javier Suarez (co-founder & CEO, Oliva Health & Travel Perk) Andrej Kiska (former partner, Credo Ventures), Tomas Scavnicky (co-Founder and CTO, Parrot), Peter Zajac (co-founder & CEO Surglogs) and finally Anton Zajac (co-founder, Eset). Thank you all, your support makes a huge difference.
The (personal) story
I want to share the personal part of this story because it’s the reason Upheal exists. In the beginning of 2020 I was going through a major burnout. I couldn’t focus, sleep. Doing even small decisions was almost unbearable. My anxiety was spiralling to new heights. My day-to-day performance degraded significantly.
How did this happen? Well. My personality setup has a tendency to anxiety (thank you, genetics 😅). I’ve also spent quite some time working in fast growing startups already. But the most important factor was that my older son was diagnosed with a chronic oncology condition a few years back, which brought a lot of stress, as you can probably imagine. (He’s stable and doing well now, thankfully🤞). All of this combined drained my energy bar dangerously low.
The impact of such an experience was predictably… significant. I realized the importance of mental health and just how much we neglect it. And that’s when I decided that I wanted my next venture to have an impact in this field. One year and 100+ interviews with mental health professionals later, this amazing journey of discovery allowed us to understand what problems we’d be solving, and how we should go about addressing them.
Therapists of all kinds love to help people but are frustrated by the constant flow of admin tasks with note-taking and documentation leading the pack. It’s time-consuming, often unproductive and repetitive causing many dread and procrastination (yes, even therapists have issues 😊). Nevertheless, it’s unavoidable and notes have to be done for many reasons we can discuss some other time. Thus, our company mission was born: “To free up mental health clinicians from admin tasks, so they can focus on providing better care”.
The first smart platform for mental health professionals
I was lucky enough to have my co-founder & CTO, Martin Horvath and early team members including our Lead Backend Engineer, Tomas Vondracek, join me on the uncertain journey of discovery. Eventually, by listening to all the therapist feedback and complaints we came up with a solution addressing the biggest pain points. This includes unique features like therapist-focused video calling and automated AI-powered progress notes.
Not only have we designed the product for therapists, but we validated our work with them every step of the way to make sure that what we’re building is valuable to them. There are many complex technologies under the hood, but we strive for simplicity and ease of use for both therapist and client.
Equally important for us were security and privacy. We understand the sensitivity of the data we’re working with, and the product was built from scratch with that in mind. Therefore we adhere to the strictest security and privacy measures and compliance standards. Most of the team also have extensive experience from working for the largest consumer security company.
We’re proud to be able to say that the Upheal video session and documentation experience is already much better compared to what therapists know today using legacy telehealth tools and EHR documentation. This is primarily why we describe Upheal as the first smart platform for mental health professionals. I encourage every mental health professional to give it a try – and hey, feel free to give us feedback 🙏🏼. We’re eager to learn how we can help mental health professionals save time further or even improve their practice. After all, that’s really why we’re here. 🤍
A bright future
Our vision for Upheal is one where therapists can completely delegate mundane admin tasks (notes, scheduling etc.) to software so they can fully focus on providing care to clients and patients. This will decrease their cognitive load and any energy drain per client enabling them to dedicate more time to themselves, be more energized, and then pass this energy onto people they’re helping. ✨
Saving significant time on admin tasks would already be a fantastic achievement, but we’re looking even further. We aspire to help mental health clinicians to become more effective professionals. We want to highlight many often invisible cues and insights that are present in their sessions (therapy content, voice, facial expressions, etc.) to help them make better decisions in their treatment; benefits that will cascade to clients healing faster. And that means a happier world.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who’s working on Upheal. I’m proud to say that I’m working with a world-class team of engineers, AI experts, product designers, and medical advisors. They make me feel confident we’re able to execute on our vision to change how mental health professionals work with their clients day-to-day.