Ex-Uber exec’s mental health app launches with £3.75m

Ben Heathcote

In App Deals. October 7, 2018

Basis, a mental health app launched by former Uber executive Andrew Chapin, has announced its launch alongside a $3.75 million investment. The round was led by Bedrock with participation from Wave Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

The app-based platform offers users access to trained specialists to help them work through stress, anxiety or depression. Users can book voice or video sessions with mental health specialists for $35 for 45-minute sessions, which can be initiated through the app or website.

Chapin joined Uber in 2011 as one of the company’s first hires in New York before leaving in 2016 to launch his own startup. He was inspired to create the app with co-founder and chief science officer Lindsay Trent after struggling with physical and mental fatigue, as well as anxiety, as a result of working two high-stress jobs.

He said:

“While yoga and meditation gave me temporary relief, they didn’t help me work through the issues I faced. The idea of seeing a therapist felt too clinical for my situation; I just needed help dealing with the everyday challenges of being human. While exploring new models for taking care of my mental health, I met Dr. Trent. We realized there was a huge opportunity to provide evidence-based solutions at a drastically lower price point.”

Basis was created to offer an affordable, convenient alternative to paying hundreds of dollars an hour for a therapist. The app works with unlicensed mental health professionals who trained in research-backed approaches, which means users can book same-day sessions on the go for $35.

Dr Trent added:

“Finding a clinician who provides best practices according to research and implements all of the components correctly is incredibly difficult. Over the past decade, my research focused on efforts to bridge the gap between science and practice. Sadly, traditional dissemination strategies produced dismal results, and it became clear that an innovative solution was desperately needed.

“The Basis model, on the other hand, dramatically reduces cost without sacrificing outcomes. We’re delivering an evidence-based approach in a super convenient experience that actually fits into the lives of people who need it.”

The Basis app is available for iPhone and Android and users can get started by completing a simple questionnaire before being matched with a specialist. Learn more about the app by visiting its website.