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Feel Therapeutics raises $4M to help more people fight depression

mental health solutions
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Feel Therapeutics, the San Francisco-based tech startup offering mental health solutions with Greek founders and an R&D team, raised $4M raised $4M from Genesis Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Anthemis Group, SOSV, Gaingels, PaceZero Capital Partners Ltd., and Sapiens Ventures. In addition, the round is joined by angel investors including Bill Lucia, former CEO of a health tech company that exited for $3.4B, and Philippos Kourkoulos-Latsis. 

Feel Therapeutics, formerly known as Sentio Solutions, develops biomarkers and digital therapeutics for mental health diagnostics and care. Its solution combines a wearable wristband that detects and monitors the emotional state of users, called Feel Emotion Sensor, with a personalized coaching program for positive emotional habits. With the latest round, the total funding of Feel Therapeutics increased to over $10M. The startup will now use the capital to partner up with key players from the pharmaceutical industry with the goal to create the first digital mental health therapy that is FDA-approved. 

“Feel Therapeutics perfectly embodies our investment thesis –  a super strong and visionary founding team, tackling an important and difficult problem, in a huge and fast-growing market. The company employs 30 people, out of which 25 are in Greece, so we are also very glad to see more such pioneering companies willing to hire talent here,” Dimitris Maroulis, co-founder of Genesis Ventures, shares about what prompted them to invest in Feel Therapeutics. 

“The global mental health crisis was amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought extended periods of social isolation and psychological distress. To solve this global challenge, we need smart, digital, data-driven mental health solutions like Feel Therapeutics to develop digital biomarkers and endpoints that will help us measure mental health objectively for improved outcomes,” Bill Lucia comments. 

Decoding mental health diagnoses, management, and care

“Mental health conditions are increasing worldwide and, according to the WHO, affect close to half a billion people globally. Today, nearly one in five people in the US live with a mental illness. This figure is equivalent to more than the entire population of California. Depression alone affects 300 million people worldwide today, and the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that by 2030, it will be the leading cause of disease burden globally,” George Eleftheriou, co-founder and CEO of Feel Therapeutics, highlights.  

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The two co-founders, George Eleftheriou and Dr. Haris Tsirmpas launched Feel Therapeutics in 2015 with the goal to bring objective measurement to mental health. Eleftheriou explains that before founding the company, both co-founders had struggled with their mental health. They went through psychotherapy and recognized that there was a real need and opportunity to modernize and improve the delivery of psychological treatments. This is how their startup offering mental health solutions was born. 

Feel Therapeutics develops biomarkers and digital therapeutics and wellbeing programs for stress, depression, and anxiety. In essence, its mission is to decode mental health by bringing objective data and measurement in mental health diagnosis and care. Its Feel Program combines the Feel Emotion Sensor, a wristband that monitors psychological signals to recognize emotional patterns, the Feel mobile app, which is connected to the wearable and provides real-time insights and advice about the user’s emotional state, and the Feel Provider, which is a tailored telemedicine program. 

With this offering, the company helps healthcare and insurance providers expand access to psychotherapy treatment and reduce mental health costs. It also targets employers who aim to improve the productivity and overall well-being of their employees, as well as individuals who simply want to feel at their best. Feel Therapeutics partners with US pharmaceutical companies to help them bring their digital therapeutics to market. In addition, it has worked with big insurance providers like SCOR and Gothaer. 

Collaboration with global pharma

In the short term, the team of Feel Therapeutics will focus on establishing partnerships with global pharma companies. They are also working on obtaining an FDA approval for the first data-driven digital therapeutics solution for depression and anxiety. Their long-term vision goes beyond that: 

 “We envision a world where objective data and digital therapeutics are used to provide immediate support and 24/7 care to people suffering from mental health issues. A new era where those technologies and data allow us to augment existing treatment options for mental conditions, and provide real-time, personalized care and support, exactly when it is needed, around the clock. At the same time, families and carers will be notified when patients are at risk, and healthcare providers will be able to base their assessments on objective data,” Eleftheriou concludes.

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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.