Mental wellness startup Wisdo launches with $11 million in funding

Social media has lately been linked to mental health issues, with a recent study showing a causal relationship between the use of social media and depression and loneliness. Wisdo, which just raised $11 million in seed funding from a handful of angel investors, aims to connect and support people in some of their toughest moments.

Communities on Wisdo focus on topics around physical health, mental health, self-growth, sexuality, identity and family. The app works by connecting people seeking help with those who can offer help — often those who have been through similar experiences.

“Wisdo grew out of my own personal experience when my father was diagnosed with cancer – I had no experience with cancer and there was no ‘map’ for what I should do next, no one to give me direction,” Wisdo CEO Boaz Gaon said in a statement. “I also understood that this could not possibly be true: there had to be many millions of people who had lived through this exact situation and who could help guide me – I just needed to find them. This was the seed of Wisdo – connecting people around these experiences, finding the everyday wisdom that we all need, sharing the earned wisdom that we all have, building a map for life’s emotional challenges, and giving people insight into what happens next.”

Wisdo’s timeline feature enables people to lay out their experiences in the form of steps. Based on those steps, Wisdo develops an outline for each life experience. From there, users can engage with each other in one-on-one conversations. In beta, Wisdo grew to 500,000 users.

“Social networks are based on generalized groups of friends and acquaintances where you can’t share openly and honestly about anything,” Richard Klausner, an investor in Wisdo and founder of Juno Therapeutics, said. “Social networks can be a force for good by rewarding empathy and helpfulness, which is why we believe so much in Wisdo’s mission. We want users to not only be open and honest, but move from that to creating human connections, which can improve users’ lives in the long run.”

*An earlier version of this story said Intel Capital invested. The press release sent over was inaccurate.