Published On: Sun, Jun 20th, 2021

Yana’s mental health apparatus for Spanish speakers nears 5 million users

Andrea Campos has struggled with basin given she was 8 years old. Over a years, she’s attempted all sorts of therapies — from behavioral to pharmacotherapy.

In 2017, when Campos was in her early 20s, she schooled to module and combined a complement to assistance control her mental health. It started as a personal project, though as she talked to some-more people, Campos satisfied that many others competence advantage from a complement as well.

So she built an concentration to yield entrance to mental health collection for Spanish-speaking people and began contrast it with a tiny group. At first, Campos herself was her possess chatbot, texting with users who were sleepy of traffic with depression.

“During a month, we was sanctimonious we was an app, and would send these people a list of activities they had to finish during a day, such as essay in a thankfulness journal, and afterwards seeking them how those activities done them feel,” Campos recalls.

Her meditative was that infrequently with basin and stress comes “a lot of avoidance,” where people conflict intensity diagnosis out of fear.

The formula from her tiny examination were encouraging. So, Campos set out to control a bigger representation of experiments, and lifted about $10,000 around a crowdfunding campaign. With that money, she hired a developer to build a chatbot for her app, that was mostly being used around Facebook Messenger.

Then an trembler strike Mexico City and that developer mislaid all — including his home and mechanism — and had to relocate.

“I was left with nothing,” Campos says. But that developer introduced her to another, who left with his payment, and again, left Campos, “with nothing.”

“I satisfied during a commencement of 2019, we was going to have to do this by myself,” Campos said. So she used a site that she described as a “Wix for chatbots,” and combined one herself.

After experimenting with a app with a representation of 700 people, Campos was even some-more speedy and lifted an angel turn of appropriation for Yana, a startup behind her app. (Yana is an acronym for “You Are Not Alone.”) By early 2020, with only 3 months of runway left, she pivoted to emanate an app with chatbot formation that wasn’t only singular to use around Facebook Messenger.

Campos finished adult rising a app some-more broadly during a same week that her city in Mexico went into quarantine.

Image Credits: Yana

At first, she said, she saw “normal, solid growth.” But afterwards on Oct 10, 2020, Apple’s App Store highlighted Yana for International Mental Health Day, and a response was overwhelming.

“It was also my birthday so we was during a sauna in a circuitously town, relaxing, when we started conference my dungeon phone go crazy,” Campos recalls. “Everything went nuts. we had to go behind to Mexico City given a servers were bursting given they were not used to carrying that kind of volume.”

As a outcome of that exposure, Yana went from carrying around 80,000 users to reaching 1 million users dual weeks later. Soon after that, Google highlighted a app as one of best for personal expansion in 2020, and that too led to another spike in users. Today, Yana is about to strike a 5 million-user symbol and is also announcing it has lifted $1.5 million in appropriation led by Mexico’s ALLVP, that has also invested in a likes of Cornershop, Flink and Nuvocargo.

Funding for mental health-focused startups rises in 2020

When a pestilence strike final year, 6 of Yana’s nine-person group motionless to quarantine together in a “startup house” in Cancun to concentration on building a company. Earlier this year, a association had lifted $315,000 from investors such as 500 Startups, Magma and Hustle Fund. The association had pitched ALLVP, that was intrigued though wanted to wait until it could write a bigger check. 

That time is now, and Yana is now among a tip 3 downloaded apps in Mexico and 12 countries, including Spain, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela.

With a new capital, Yana is formulation to “move divided from a depression/anxiety narrative,” according to Campos.

“We wish to contest in a wellness space,” she told TechCrunch. “A lot of people were looking for us to understanding with crises such as a dissection or a detriment though afterwards they didn’t always see a prerequisite to keep regulating Yana for longer than a predicament lasted.”

Some of those people would download a app again months after when strike with another crisis.

“We don’t wish to be that app anymore,” Campos said. “We wish to concentration on whole wellness and mental health and broadcast something that needs to be built each singular day, only like we do with exercise.”

Moving forward, Yana aims to assistance people with their mental health not only during a predicament though with activities they can do on a daily basis, including a thankfulness journal, a mood tracker and imagining — “things that forestall basin and anxiety,” Campos said.

“We wish to be a vitamin for a soul, and gripping people mentally healthy on an ongoing basis,” she said. “We also wish to embody a village inside a application.”

ALLVP’s Federico Antoni is eager about a startup’s potential. He initial met Campos when she was participating in an accelerator module in 2017, and afterwards again recently.

The organisation led Yana’s latest turn given it “wanted to be on her team.”

“She [Campos] has incited into an extraordinary leader, and we satisfied her intensity and strength,” he said. “Plus, Yana is an extraordinary product. When we download it, it’s roughly like we can see a essence in there.”

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