Former Uber exec Andrew Chapin takes the wraps off his stealth mental health startup

One can only imagine what it was like to work at Uber in the years leading up to Susan Fowler's infamous blog post. It was said that many of the company's leaders were overly competitive, sexist and inappropriate ("bright idiots," as Arianna Huffington once said), and their "move fast and break things" mentality leaves almost no room for employees take a step back and reflect on how the company's culture was affecting your mental health.

Andrew Chapin joined Uber in 2011 as one of his first hires in New York. He worked his way up to become head of vehicle solutions and established the Uber vehicle financing program, which helps drivers obtain and pay for car leases . He says that the struggles within the company caused him great anxiety, something with which he was very familiar from his time as a commodity trader at Goldman Sachs.

"There were days when I walked through lower Manhattan and thought if I was hit by a car and I was in the hospital for a week, it would be better to go to work," Chapin told TechCrunch.

In Goldman and Uber, Chapin was going through difficult times but was resisting therapy, partly because of the extravagant costs but mostly because of the discomfort. Towards the end of his five-year term at Uber, he realized the imperative need for accessible and flexible technology tools to help workers withstand stressful times, as well as the need to destigmatize the mental health problems that they prevail within the technology industry and beyond.

At the end of 2016, he left Uber to build his own startup. Two years later, he is ready to share what he has been working on. Basis, an application designed to help people cope with anxiety, depression and other mental health problems through guided conversations via chat or video, is emerging stealth today with an investment of $ 3.75 million led by Bedrock Wave Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners have also participated in the round.

"Looking back to Goldman's experience of simply wallowing in this unpleasant situation, [Basis] would have been an outlet for talking about things and feeling lighter." Chapin said. "At that time, I bottled it. In retrospect, if I had something that would help me overcome the emotions I was dealing with, it would have been very helpful. "

In the application, users can schedule 45-minute phone calls with providers without a license for $ 35. Because Basis works with paraprofessionals, people trained in research-supported approaches but who do not have the same certifications as a clinical or counseling psychologist, is a much cheaper alternative to paying for a therapist. [19659002] Chapin built the application with co-founder and scientific director Lindsay Trent, a former research psychologist at Stanford who had grown tired of seeing how trained psychologists charge "extravaged rates and was hungry for a innovative solution for mental health crises today.

"I saw a real gap between what we knew was effective and what people actually received," Trent told TechCrunch. "Doctors who charge $ 300 per session do not provide optimal care. It's very frustrating for me. "

Basis provides six avenues: work, social, school, finances, relationships and parenting.On each of them, users can get access on the same day to specialists who can choose to consult on a regular basis or just once.

The idea is that Basis adapts to his life as a SoulCycle class or a call with his best friend – on his own terms. ]