There are a number of unannounced USV investments that we have made over the years. They are unannounced at the request of the founder(s). One of them is having a coming out party today and I thought I’d write a bit about it today.
Koko is a mobile social network that calms your mind.
When we’re stressed it can be difficult to think flexibly. We get caught up in our own mind. We focus on the worst narratives – that we can’t do it, that we’re not good enough, that things will never get better.
On Koko, you share your stress anonymously and the community helps you think more flexibly about your situation. Because how we think about stress impacts how we feel, simply being shown other, less negative, ways to view the situation helps reduce stress.
Here’s a screen shot of an anonymous user sharing their stress and the community posting “rethinks” that help that user overcome the stress that is bothering them.
Koko is the creation of Fraser Kelton, Kareem Kouddous, and Robert Morris. We’ve known Fraser since he was one of the early employees and COO of our former portfolio company GetGlue. Fraser met Robert who was at MIT Media Lab and Koko is the product of Robert’s PhD thesis on an innovative form of crowdsourced cognitive therapy that was developed at the Media Lab.
One of our primary investment areas right now is digital health and we have made a number of investments in this sector. Koko is one of them. At USV, we believe that our phones, connected to us, the networks that are on it, and the broader global internet, will have an enormous positive impact on our health and happiness. Mental health is right in the center of this thesis and we are excited about the potential of Koko to help people manage their mental health.