Affective Software Inc., the startup founded by the leaders of the famed Gottman Institute, is releasing a new portal and products to harness technology in assessing and improving relationships.
The startup, which first revealed its plans back in May, has raised $400,000 in new funding from angel investors, adding to previous seed funding and bringing the company’s total to date to $2.9 million.
Affective Software was co-founded by Drs. John and Julie Gottman, who found fame with their research-based love and therapy Institute and the so-called “Love Lab,” which opened in 1986 at the University of Washington and was considered at the time to be the world’s original couples laboratory.
Microsoft veteran Rafael Lisitsa, a longtime engineer and technology executive, is also a co-founder and is Affective’s CEO and president.
The startup uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to bring the Gottman’s techniques to personal computing devices. Gottman Connect is a “relationship well-being platform” where clinicians and consumers can access the latest research-based assessment and well-being tools, and new products include:
- The Enhanced Gottman Relationship Checkup: Used by clinicians to automatically score the strengths and challenges of clients’ relationships while providing specific recommendations for intervention.
- The Gottman Relationship Coach: Multimedia experience designed to enhance the well-being of relationships. Based upon the Gottman method, participants are guided through research-based tools and communications skills to help transform relationships. The first program, “How to Make Your Relationship Work,” is now available for $79, with more programs to come.
“The pandemic has challenged couples and their relationships like never before,” the Gottmans said in a joint statement. “As couples’ therapy moves to virtual connections, it is more important than ever for us to bring these products to the public, and into people’s homes. Not only does Gottman Connect offer couples the ability to access our decades of research, it represents an advancement of our science with the application of advanced computing provided by Affective Software.”
A virtual version of the Love Lab, which automatically analyzes the interactions between couples using videos taken by themselves or a therapist, has been in beta for months. Affective and The Gottman Institute plan to make The Gottman Love Lab available to the public by the end of January.
Affective Software has nine full-time employees and contractors, plus 12 part-time consultants and is working closely with the team at the Gottman Institute as the startup scales up.