Jebalvin entered the digital safety space with the launch of a bilingual mental health app. • TechCrunch


Jabalvin, Prince of reggaeton, he spoke candidly with his fans about his mental health struggles and healing journey. Now, he’s doing some of the traveling by launching OYE, a Spanish/English wellness app.

The app, which seeks to support those struggling with mental health issues, was created by Balvin and his two co-founders, Mario Chamorro, a creative wellness advocate and CEO; Patrick Dowd, Innovation Strategist and COO of the company.

“This is one of my biggest dreams because it comes from my heart,” Balvin told TechCrunch in an interview. “I’m human like everyone else and I felt a mission to make the world a better place, starting with mental health.” The company says, co-founder Balvin will be the chief dream officer, or CDO. While it’s, um, a creative title, it’s unclear how much Balvin will have in his day-to-day operations or whether it will be spent mostly on marketing and distribution efforts. The company told TechCrunch that Balvin’s role, in addition to being a founder, is to push the team to “dream big.”

According to an internal survey conducted by OYE, 92% of respondents in Latin America have a negative perception of mental health and mental health services. TechCrunch asked to see the study, but a spokesperson told the company that they could not share it because it was “proprietary information.” However, the statistics are similar to a report published by the Association of American Medical Schools. AMSA’s report indicated that there is cultural mental health stigma in the Latino community and little knowledge of what it means to access mental health services. Additionally, Latinos in the United States receive 50% less mental health services than their white counterparts, according to a study published in Hispanic Health Care International.

For the above reasons, Balvin and his colleagues found it critical to ensure that OYE was offered in two languages.

“[We’re] Changing the way we talk about mental and emotional well-being from something that is seen as a personal burden to something that is an exercise in creating new aspects of your life. & there is cooperation on PayPal. “We’ve actually built two versions of our app that we’re launching this month. One of them is entirely in Spanish, the other is entirely in English, and our team is bilingual and spread across the Americas.

Oi, the Spanish word, translated into English means listening has become a driving goal for the team.

Image Credits: OYE

The app provides users with bilingual security experiences and daily check-in. Users can also go through creative wellness exercises such as guided training on how to better understand their emotions. Daily wellness practices can last 30 to 45 minutes.

Users who download the app before October 31 will have access to a one-month free trial. Following that trial period, users must pay $4.99 per month to access OYE and its assets.

As OYE enters the global market for iOS and Android, it will need to ensure that it does more than build on Balvin’s reputation.

Balvin is the latest among many celebrities to add startups to their careers: Serena Williams and her foray into venture capital; Kim Kardashian to be a private equity trader; And “Selling Sunset” star Christine Quinn is working on a crypto-based brokerage. Although being the CDO of a health app for the Grammy-nominated artist seems to be more of a side gig for now.

“We all dream and dream big,” Balvin said.[At OYE] We have put together our strengths, skills and abilities to create this beautiful application.

However, Oi is entering a niche where health apps and digital therapy dominate the market. BetterHelp, TalkSpace, Headspace and Calm are some platforms that come to mind. Wellness apps boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic, but have since been questioned about their functionality and effectiveness.

One thing was evident to TechCrunch: OYE seeks partnerships to effectively serve marginalized communities.

“[JBalvin] He is the most collaborative person in his music in reggaeton, and that’s how he became a rising artist and the prince of reggaeton through collaboration,” says Chamorro. “We are creating a very careful partnership in our area, and in that way we are working to amplify the voice of the OPEC.”

The company claims to have partnerships with Apple and Google to optimize the app for their respective platforms.

The road to breaking down mental health stigma is long, but Balvin hopes this initiative will help break down those stigmas and “make the world a better place.”

OYE raised $4.1 million in pre-seed round with participation from MasterClass and Outlier.org founder Aaron Rasmussen, Collab Fund, 17Sigma, Expa, GreyMatter, Propeller Ventures, Gaingels, Alley Corp CEO Kevin Rasmussen, Ryan, former Amazon executive Jeff Wilke, Future Ventures founder Marina Saenko and Coursera CEO Jeff Magioncalda.

Funds from this round will be used to further develop content, improve marketing, improve the app based on user feedback and promote B2B offerings, which the team said it plans to launch next year.





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