Dublin-headquartered Frankie Health, which helps support employee mental wellbeing, has been acquired by UK-based Unmind for an undisclosed sum.
The deal sees the launch of Unmind Talk, a new product to help employees access mental health and wellbeing support that utilises Frankie Health’s technology.
Founded in 2020 by James McGann and Seb Poole, Frankie Health developed a digital platform that uses machine learning to deliver personalised mental health support to remote teams. Frankie identifies when team members are suffering from anxiety, stress or burnout and offers personalised mental health support. Among its supports are CBT exercises, video calls with therapists and guided meditations. The service uses end-to-end encryption for privacy and machine learning to improve effectiveness.
“The purpose behind Frankie was always to get personalised mental health guides to as many people as possible,” said Mr McGann, who set up the company after dealing with his own mental health. “I realised that no one knows where to go, they’re really shooting in the dark. We wanted to build a scalable kind of platform for that requirement.”
Covid provided some fuel for the business, with an increasing number of people recognising mental health struggles. ”We all went through a collective mental health challenge. Instead of one in four struggling, we all went through a difficult time,” he said. “That was a real accelerant for us and Frankie because it meant that the stigma went down another notch.”
Mr McGann said the acquisition by Unmind would bring a preventative element to the mental health service, with the UK company specialising in that area.
The value of the deal was not disclosed. However, industry sources valued the company at just over $8 million in April last year. Mr McGann said investors were happy with the outcome. The company raised $1.25 million in funding in 2021 to fund its expansion, and currently employs eight people. All employees will stay on with the company, Mr McGann said.
“Ultimately I don’t want to work in any other industry,” he said. “When I got to know [Unmind chief executive] Nick [Taylor]over the last year, it was clear that we had essentially one and the same vision and the markets moved around us in a way that we are able to do that much quicker to get her versus separately.”
Frankie Health is live in 76 countries and offers therapy and coaching in 50 languages. It counts Pernod Ricard and McDonalds among its clients. The merger with Unmind will extend its reach further to new markets and customers.
“Today marks a significant milestone in the Unmind journey,” said Unmind chief executive Dr Nick Taylor. “Unmind will always advocate that prevention is better than cure, but in order to fulfil our vision and become the most trusted and effective global partner for transforming organisational and employee mental health, we must do more. From the very first days of Unmind, we knew we can drive change by combining the best of science with scalable, digital tools. Extending that further by integrating expert human services allows us to fully support our members through the flow of care, giving them frictionless access to quality practitioners from around the world.”