The company behind teenage mental health platform and game eQuoo has raised £1.5m in investment.

US firm Morningside Ventures led the investment round into London-based PsycApps to help the company scale and further develop eQuoo.

PsycApps was co-founded by clinical psychologist Silja Litvin and former chief people and transformation officer Vanessa Hirsch-Angus to tackle the mental health needs of teenagers and young adults.

The company’s platform offers an accessible, scalable, and sticky mental health intervention that gives higher education institutions the ability to impact students’ mental health positively.

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Recognising the unmet needs of hundreds of thousands of students in the UK alone for evidence-based prevention and intervention programs, eQuoo is built for young adults’ consumer habits and needs.

With over half a million players globally, PsycApps’s goal is to reach every young adult needing an emotional and mental boost in a way that makes it easy for them to stick with the program.

Silja Litvin, PsycApps co-founder and CEO, said, “After working in an NHS priory, I realised that my clients were reaching me way too late – often after six months on a waitlist and years after experiencing the first symptoms.

“I wanted to find a way to give them the skill set they needed before they needed it.

“If a student drops out of their course due to mental health issues, it will change their lives in a way that hurts them and society.

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“With eQuoo we give young adults a tool that helps them grow mentally, stay mentally healthy and get help if they’re experiencing issues.

“We are excited to work with the Morningside team, who have a great track record. From our first meeting, it became clear that they share our passion for addressing this global mental health issue and, especially, the negative impact it is having on the results of those still in school. Morningside’s focus on health, tech, and social responsibility investing fits PsycApps perfectly.”

Speaking on the investment, Stephen Bruso, digital health and biotech partner at Morningside Ventures, commented: “Digital health interventions will be critical in how our society addresses the second, ongoing pandemic of mental health issues.

“However, designing these interventions to maximise long-term engagement and outcomes will be critical to making a difference. Silja and her team have shown robust engagement and outcomes data in large clinical studies, and we are proud to partner with them to bring eQuoo to people in need everywhere.”

PsycApps was co-founded by Litvin and Hirsch-Angus, who has a background in private equity and insurance.

The company is targeting the UK education market, where secondary schools, colleges, and universities desperately need tools to help keep their students healthy, with many of their existing mental health care programs failing to live up to expectations.