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

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In “Macbeth,” Shakespeare described sleep as the “chief nourisher in life’s feast.” But like his titular character, many adults aren’t sleeping well. Revery wants to help with an app that combines cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia with mobile gaming concepts. Founded in March 2021, Revery is in beta stealth mode and plans to launch its app in the United States later this year. The company announced today it had raised $2 million, led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge program. Participants included GGV Capital, Pascal Capital, ventures (Razer’s corporate venture arm), angel investors like MyFitnessPal co-founder Albert Lee; gaming entrepreneur Juha Paananen; CRED founder Kunal Shah; Mobile Premier League founder Sai Srinivas; Carolin Krenzer; and Josh Lee.

Lee, a mutual friend, first introduced Revery’s founders, Tammie Siew and Khoa Tran. Before launching the startup, Siew worked at Sequoia Capital India, Boston Consulting Group, and CRED, while Tran was a former product manager at Google. Recovery plans to focus on other mental health issues in the future. Still, it’s starting with sleep because “it has such a strong correlation with mental health, and we’re leveraging protocols, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, that’s robust and have been tried and tested for 30 years,” Siew told TechCrunch. “That is the first indication, but the goal is to build multiple games for other wellness indications.”

mental health

A study by research firm Infinium found that about 30% to 45% of adults worldwide experience insomnia, a problem exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chronic lack of sleep is linked to many health issues, including high blood pressure, strokes, depression, and lowered immunity. For Revery’s team, which includes former Zynga and King lead game designer Kriti Sawa and software engineer Stephanie Wong, their focus on sleep is personal. “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 friend go through challenges in mental health,” said 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 diagnosed with hypertension and several other health conditions that needed medication. It wasn’t until he was 26 that Tran discovered that sleep apnea was at the root of his medical issues. After getting surgery, Tran’s blood pressure became regular, and many of his other conditions also improved. “When I finally got treatment for my sleep disorder, only then did I realize the impact of sleep on mental health,” Tran said. “I was fortunate that a doctor caught my sleep disorder and was super lucky to have the time and resources to get treatment. For many people, it’s incredibly inaccessible.” Revery’s medical advisory team includes the doctor who performed Tran’s surgery, Stanford Sleep Surgery Fellowship director Dr. Stanley Liu; Stanford professor and behavioral sleep medicine expert Dr. Fiona Barwick; and Dr. Ryan Kelly, a clinical psychologist who researches video games that can be used in therapy.

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