Dublin-based Frankie Health gets acquired by the UK’s Unmind

2 Feb 2023

Frankie Health co-founder James McGann. Image: Frankie Health

According to Unmind, 42pc of employees who call their Employee Assistance Programme and need therapy get rejected.

Irish mental health platform Frankie Health has been snapped up by UK-based Unmind for an undisclosed sum.

Launched in 2020 by James McGann and Seb Poole, Frankie Health is a mental health app that connects a business’s employees with therapists to deliver personalised exercises to reduce stress and anxiety.

The platform is free for therapists to use, with sessions and exercises protected with end-to-end encryption.

Frankie Health’s acquisition has helped Unmind release its latest product, Unmind Talk. Using Frankie Health’s technology, Unmind Talk will allow employers and employees to access a global network of accredited mental health practitioners

The idea is to offer employees someone to talk to and give them the support they need within moments through the platform.

According to figures cited by Unmind, only about 5pc of employees phone their Employee Assistance Programme’s call centre and 42pc of callers who need therapy are rejected.

“Employees need someone to talk to. Someone with the knowledge and skills to give them the support they need. Someone they can reach out to easily, who speaks their language and is available when they need them,” said Naomi Lucking of Unmind.

“With Unmind Talk, Unmind becomes a truly holistic workplace wellbeing solution with the best of both worlds: a digital tool to help people proactively nurture their mental health, and human support for anyone who needs it.”

The market for workplace wellness services was valued at more than $48bn as of 2021. According to an analysis by Pitchbook, mental health and wellbeing apps raised more than $1.3bn by late 2020 amid the pandemic, eclipsing the $1.06bn raised in 2019.

Dublin-headquartered Frankie Health itself raised $1.25m in early 2021 seed funding led by Hong Kong firm E15 VC.

“Mental health is a spectrum that we all move up and down on. When employees are feeling good, they can be building resilience by completing proven exercises that develop mental strength,” McGann said at the time.

“And when harder times come, employees should get immediate support from the highest quality sources.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic