Mental Health Vocal Biomarker Startup Kintsugi Raises $20M
Mental health vocal biomarker startup has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Insight Partners. The new investment will go toward scaling Kintsugi and improving its voice test for detecting subtle signs of anxiety, depression, and other potential mental health issues.
Kintsugi Voice Test
Kintsugi is behind a vocal biomarker test that examines someone’s voice for the audio indications of mental distress. A 20-second clip, regardless of language, can be dissected and analyzed by Kintsugi’s AI. The company’s dataset was collected from a talk therapy app downloaded more than 100,000 times. Kintsugi determines if and where there are potential clues to the speaker’s mental state and shares them with the patient and any approved medical professionals. The startup turned its algorithm into an enterprise API called KiVA that it claims can identify depression more than four out of five times. More notably, it supposedly tags the early warning signs a decade ahead of traditional methods.
“Kintsugi provides a sense of empowerment from patients to providers to payors and everyone in between who has a stake in patient outcomes,” Kintsugi CEO Grace Chang said. “At Kintsugi, we are looking for objective, quantifiable, and accurate measurements to raise the parity of mental health to that of physical health. This latest round of funding is a vote of confidence in our vision for mental healthcare, and we’re looking forward to seeing it come to life with the help of our investors.”
The three-year-old startup has now raised $28 million after an $8 million seed funding round last summer led by Acrew Capital, who also participated in this round. Insight Partners has plenty of cash to offer after just finishing a $20 billion fund and reaching $90 billion in assets under management. The new investment stems from Insight’s Computational Care vertical. The money will also help Kintsugi apply its dataset to more research as it is 110 times larger than the next-biggest of its kind, according to the startup.
Kintsugi, whose name refers to the Japanese practice of repairing broken pottery and ceramics by using gold to hold the pieces together, is one of a growing number of mental health vocal biomarker developers. Most recently, the National Science Foundation (NSF) issued a $1 million grant to TQIntelligence to work on its own mental health vocal biomarker research and work diagnosing potential mental health concerns by analyzing audio recordings of children and teenagers talking. The amount is small, but the government investment is notable. There’s plenty of private investor money as well, of course. The startup’s fundraising is ahead of the $22 million raised by Sonde Health, who released a mobile app and API last October to analyze mental health through voice recordings. The startup is only slightly behind Ellipsis Health in funding after a $26 million round last fall brought that depression and anxiety voice test developer to $30 million total investment.
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