Irish-based start-up Frankie Health has raised $1.25m in funding - and plans to add 20 remote roles to its business in the next year as part of its expansion plans.

Frankie Health aims to work with organisations to support employee mental health, offering personalised exercises and online access to qualified therapists.

Today it announced it had closed a $1.25m investment round, led by Hong Kong-based venture capital firm E15 VC.

"What we're trying to do at Frankie Health is recognise that all of our mental health is changing all the time, based on our lives and we try to adapt to that," co-founder James McGann told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland. "We offer personalised, evidence-based exercises that can be accessed from anywhere.

"That ranges from things like meditation, CBT [Cognitive Behavioural Therapy] exercises all the way up to secure video calls with therapists."

Mr McGann said the therapists employees may engage with would always be fully qualified, and the communications are end-to-end encrypted - which means that employers, and Frankie Health itself, is not privy to the details of the conversations they may have.

While mental health is more important than counting euro and cents, there will be some employers who see investment in the area as a low priority; especially given the financial pressures many are facing at the moment.

However Mr McGann said that employee mental health is also an important factor to a business’ bottom line.

"According to the World Health Organisation, in a given year one in four will suffer from a mental health issue, and after one month of the lockdown, that increased by 8%," he said. "One in five take a day off due to stress in the year, but 90% cite a different reason.

"So people aren’t telling their employees that their feeling stress or anxious and taking days off... in a company of 100, on average 430 days are lost in a given year to unsupported mental health."

On the newly-raised money, Mr McGann said the focus would be on building the team.

The 20 new jobs announced today will be fully-remote, and he said they were keen to see people from all corners of Ireland applying for the engineering, design and marketing positions.

He also the company hoped to be announcing further hiring towards the end of the year.