In “Macbeth,” Shakespeare described sleep as the “main feeder of life’s feast.” But like its main character, many adults don’t sleep well. Dream wants to help with an app that combines cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia with mobile gaming concepts.
Founded in March 2021, Revery is currently in stealth beta mode and plans to launch its app in the United States later this year. The company announced today that it has raised $ 2 million led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge program. Participants included GGV Capital, Pascal Capital, zVentures (Razer’s corporate venture arm), and angel investors such as MyFitnessPal co-founder Albert Lee; gaming entrepreneur Juha Paananen; The founder of CRED, Kunal Shah; The founder of the Mobile Premier League, Sai Srinivas; Carolin Krenzer; and Josh Lee.
Lee, a mutual friend, first introduced Revery 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.
Revery plans to focus on other mental health issues in the future, but is starting with sleep because “it has a very strong correlation with mental health and we are leveraging the protocols, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which is robust and effective. it’s been tried and tested for 30 years, ”Siew told TechCrunch. “That is the first indication, but the goal is to create various games for other indications of well-being as well.”
TO study by research firm Infinium found that about 30% to 45% of adults in the world experience insomnia, a problem exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chronic lack of sleep is linked to a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, strokes, depression, and lowered immunity.
For Revery’s team, which also includes former Zynga and King principal game designer Kriti Sawa and software engineer Stephanie Wong, their focus on the dream is personal.
“Everyone on our team has a deeply personal connection to the mission, because everyone on our team has experienced, or a family member or friends have been through challenges in mental health,” Siew said. “They have seen how late intervention creates consequences that could have been avoided if they had received help earlier.”
When Tran was 15 years old, he was diagnosed with hypertension and several other health conditions that required medication. It wasn’t until she was 26 that Tran discovered that sleep apnea was at the root of her medical problems. After surgery, Tran’s blood pressure returned to normal, and many of her other conditions improved as well.
“When I finally received treatment for my sleep disorder, it was only then that I realized the impact of sleep on mental health,” said Tran. “For me, I was very lucky to have my sleep disorder detected by a doctor, and I was very lucky to have the time and resources to receive treatment. For many people, it is incredibly inaccessible. “
Revery’s team of medical advisers includes the physician who performed Tran’s surgery, the director of the Stanford Sleep Surgery Fellowship, Dr. Stanley Liu; Dr. Fiona Barwick, Stanford professor and expert in behavioral sleep medicine; and Dr. Ryan Kelly, clinical psychologist investigating how video games can be used in therapy.
When people think of apps for sleep, they tend to think of those that focus on meditation (Calm and Headspace, for example) or relaxing sounds. Revery’s team doesn’t share many details about their app before launch, but they say it’s based on casual mobile games, which are designed to keep people coming back for short gaming sessions over a long period of time. The goal is to use gamification to make CBT practices interactive and fun, making it part of the daily routine of users.
“That’s the same type of game that Zynga and King have used, so Kriti’s experience is very helpful,” Siew said. Casual games revolve around rewarding people for small actions, and for the Revery app, that means positive reinforcement of habits that contribute to better sleep. For example, you will reward people for putting down their phones.
“I think a lot of people have the misconception that solving the dream is only the moment you fall asleep. They don’t realize that sleep is affected by what you do during the day, ”Siew said. “A big part is also what your thoughts, behavior and the other things that you do are, so to effectively and sustainably improve your sleep, we also have to change your thoughts and behaviors outside of the moment when you are trying to reconcile sleep. sleep. . “
In a statement, GGV Capital CEO Jenny Lee said: “We are excited about the growing market for mental wellness and believe that Revery’s unique mobile game-based approach has the opportunity to create immense impact. We are happy to support such a mission driven team in this space. “