Seattle entrepreneurs lead mental health startup that combines philosophy, psychology, and chatbots – GeekWire

Kaji co-founders Erick Rivas, left, and Simona Trakiyska. (LinkedIn Photos)

A pair of longtime entrepreneurs wants to help you find yourself — with a little help from ChatGPT.

Erick Rivas and Simona Trakiyska are the co-founders of Kaji, an app featuring a library of self-improvement and wellness audio recordings, enhanced by a chatbot that personalizes content recommendations based on user preferences and mood.

Kaji’s goal is to help users in “scuba diving” into their own thoughts, said Trakiyska, a former journalist and wellness-focused content strategist who co-founded Seattle Yoga News and has been practicing yoga and meditation for more than 30 years.

Rivas is the co-founder and former CTO of Limeade, an employee experience software company based in the Seattle area that went public in 2019 via the Australian stock market. He also serves as co-founder and CTO of Keme IX, a “Chakra Healing Hotel & Holistic Center” in Tulum, Mexico.

Rivas said the startup sets itself apart from existing meditation apps like Calm, Headspace, and Meditopia through its AI-driven recommendation tool. When users talk to the chatbot, they complete a brief behavioral assessment. The app’s machine learning and AI then uses that information to create personalized audio playlists, covering topics such as grief, wisdom, loneliness, relationships, motivation, leadership, and more.

Trakiyska said the company’s user prototype is generally tech-savvy but seeks a fast way to disconnect. She said the app avoids tracking or gamification features, asking just three questions before suggesting an audio session. The idea is to let users multitask during activities like hiking, walking, lounging, or working at a desk.

“We don’t want people to be sitting there and chatting with a chatbot all day,” said Trakiyska, who was a content marketer at companies including Simplicity Consulting, Aduro, and Limeade.

App data shows that users are spending about an hour on Kaji on average per session, she said. It has been available for more than a year and has “thousands” of users, Rivas said.

Kaji said it includes ancient wisdom and modern psychology into its audio scripts. The startup owns its library of content, commissioning scripts from a network of therapists, psychologists, mental health experts, and advisors. It also hires voice actors, who create voice-over recordings and add background music.

“It’s all content that we’ve developed from scratch,” Rivas said.

The app is free to start, with a subscription-based tier costing $7.99 per month and $69.99 annually. Rivas said the startup is also rolling out an enterprise option for employers to offer as a workplace benefit.

Kaji has been primarily bootstrapped to this point, with some investment from friends and family. It does not have any employees on payroll, instead contracting engineering and content creation to gig workers.

Trakiyska said the next phase will be rolling out in-person workshops and retreats, where the startup takes customers to various destinations for “immersive listening experiences,” in addition to its online workshops.

Source link

  • Loading
  • You May Also Like