Revery gets $2M to improve mental health with mobile gaming techniques

In “Macbeth,” Shakespeare described sleep because the “chief nourisher in life’s feast.” But like his titular character, many adults aren’t sleeping nicely. Revery desires to assist with an app that mixes cognitive behavioral remedy (CBT) for insomnia with mobile gaming ideas.

Founded in 2021, Revery is at present in beta stealth mode and plans to launch its app within the United States later this yr. The firm introduced at the moment it has raised $2 million led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge program. Participants included GGV Capital, Pascal Capital, zVentures (Razer’s company enterprise arm) and angel traders like MyFitnessPal co-founder Albert Lee; gaming entrepreneur Juha Paananen; CRED founder Kunal Shah; Mobile Premier League founder Sam Srinivas; Carolin Krenzer; and Josh Lee.

Lee, a mutual good friend, first launched Revery’s founders, Tammie Siew and Khoa Tran to each other. Before launching the startup, Siew labored at Sequoia Capital India, Boston Consulting Group and CRED, whereas Tran was a former product supervisor at Google.

Revery plans concentrate on different mental health points sooner or later, nevertheless it’s beginning with sleep as a result of “it has such a strong correlation with mental health and we’re leveraging protocols, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, that’s robust and has been tried and tested for 30 years,” Siew instructed TechCrunch. “That is the first indication, but the goal is to build multiple games for other wellness indications as well.”

A study by research firm Infinium discovered that about 30% to 45% of adults on the planet expertise insomnia, an issue exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chronic lack of sleep is linked to a host of health issues, together with hypertension, strokes, despair and lowered immunity.

For Revery’s staff, which additionally contains former Zynga and King lead sport designer Kriti Sawa and software program engineer Stephanie Wong, their concentrate on sleep is private.

Revery’s staff on a Zoom name

“Everyone on our team has a deeply personal connection to the mission, because everyone on our team has experienced, or had a family member or friends go through challenges in mental health,” mentioned Siew. “They’ve seen how late intervention creates consequences that could have been avoided if they had gotten help earlier.”

When Tran was 15, he was recognized with hypertension and several other different health situations that wanted medicine. It wasn’t till he was 26 that Tran came upon that sleep apnea was on the root of his medical points. After getting surgical procedure, Tran’s blood strain grew to become regular and lots of of his different situations additionally improved.

“When I finally got treatment for my sleep disorder, only then did I realize the impact of sleep on mental health,” Tran mentioned. “For me, I was really lucky that a doctor caught my sleep disorder and super lucky to have the time and resources to get treatment. For many people, it’s incredibly inaccessible.”

Revery’s medical advisory staff contains the physician who carried out Tran’s surgical procedure, Stanford Sleep Surgery Fellowship director Dr. Stanley Liu; Stanford professor and behavioral sleep drugs knowledgeable Dr. Fiona Barwick; and Dr. Ryan Kelly, a medical psychologist who researches how video games can be used in therapy.

When individuals consider sleeping apps, ones that target meditation (Calm and Headspace, for instance) or soothing noises often come to thoughts. The Revery staff isn’t sharing numerous particulars about its app earlier than launch, however says it attracts from informal mobile video games, that are designed to get individuals to return for brief play classes over an extended time frame. The objective is to use gamification to make CBT practices interactive and enjoyable, so it turns into a part of customers’ day by day routines.

“That’s the same kind of gameplay that Zynga and King have used, which is why Kriti’s experience is super helpful,” mentioned Siew. Casual video games revolve round rewarding individuals for small actions, and for Revery app, meaning constructive reinforcement for habits that contribute to higher sleep. For instance, it’s going to reward individuals for placing their telephones down.

“I think a lot of people have the misconception that solving sleep is only at the time you fall asleep. They don’t realize that sleep is impacted by what you do throughout the day,” Siew mentioned. “A big part is also what are your thoughts, behavior and the other things that you do, so in order to effectively and sustainably improve sleep, we also have to change your thoughts and behaviors outside of the time you’re trying to fall asleep.”

In a press release, GGV Capital managing director Jenny Lee mentioned, “We are excited about the growing mental wellness market, and believe that Revery’s unique mobile game-based approach has the opportunity to create immense impact. We are happy to back such a mission-driven team in this space.”

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