Joyable raises $2M, launches app to help people get over their social anxiety

Joyable is launching today with a simple goal: curing people of anxiety and depression. So Joyable is debuting its web service people can use to track and eventually improve their mental condition. Joyable has also assembled a group of coaches who can motivate participants and keep them engaged with the app.

The startup is also announcing today that it’s raised $2.05 million in seed funding. The new backing comes after the venture-powered rise of startups like Lumosity and Memorado, which have pushed apps people can use to train their brains. The model calls to mind massively open online courses from startups like Coursera and Udemy, except that coaches can help you actually finish what you start with Joyable.

Joyable’s system revolves around a process called cognitive behavioral therapy.

“It is very well established in terms of its clinical opportunity,” Joyable cofounder and chief operating officer Steve Marks told VentureBeat in an interview. “It works equally well without a therapist if you do the exercises. It works in self-help format.”

Rather than requiring people to visit their therapists for a long sitting, then, Joyable is allowing people to go through their therapy in very small doses, from anywhere, so long as you have an Internet-connected computer or mobile device handy.

The therapy lasts for 12 weeks on average. It costs $99 a month, and people can pay $239 for a three-month package. More than 50 people have participated in a pilot. Marks didn’t want to say how many people are currently customers, but he said the number keeps doubling month over month.

Eight people work for San Francisco-based Joyable. which started in 2013. Thrive Capital and Harrison Metal led the seed round. Angel investors like Andy Rachleff also participated.

Going forward, Marks and fellow cofounder Peter Shalek want to expand Joyable’s reach. In the future, the startup could introduce web-based treatments for obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.

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