As stigma dissipates and need grows, more people than ever before are seeking behavioral health services. To keep up with the demand, entrepreneurs are getting creative, launching innovative companies and bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in funding.
One reason for that is the growing prevalence of behavioral health conditions, from depression to substance abuse and autism.
For example, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2017 — the same year that more than 70,000 Americans died by drug overdose. Those figures come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who also reports that about 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with some degree of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
However, supply of services isn’t keeping up with demand.
Take psychiatrists, for example. Figures from the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis suggest the U.S. could be short by more than 21,000 psychiatrists by the year 2030.
As such, a bevy of digital startups trying to fix that problem and others.
In the second quarter of 2019 alone, behavioral health startups raised more than raised $321 million — up 41% from Q3 2018 — according to a report from CB Insights.
For the year as a whole, funding was even more impressive, with a five companies bringing in more than $350 million alone, according to Vator, a professional network for startups and investors.
You can read more about those health and wellness startups below.
Calm led the behavioral health fundraising pack in 2019, announcing an $88 million Series B financing round led by TPG Growth back in February. Then in June, Lightspeed invested another $27 million in the company.
Other well known investors include Aston Kutcher’s Sound Ventures and Insight Venture Partners, just to name a few.
Launched in 2012 and based in San Francisco, Calm pioneered an app designed to help people cope with anxiety, stress and insomnia. Rather than serious behavioral health conditions, Calm’s focus is on aiding in relaxation.
To-date, the company has raised a total of $143 million, according to the funding tracker website Crunchbase. With a valuation over $1 billion, the company has been called tech’s first unicorn focused on meditation.
2. BlackThorn Therapeutics
In June, BlackThorn Therapeutics announced it had raised an impressive $76 million dollars in Series B funding. Investors include GV, Scripps Research and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, in addition to a number of others.
Founded in 2015, BlackThorn is also based in San Francisco. The clinical-stage neurobehavioral health company uses artificial intelligence to help develop targeted therapeutics to treat brain disorders.
That brings total funding raised up to $130 million, according to Crunchbase.
3. Quartet Health
Also in June, New York-based Quartet Health announced $60 million in Series D funding.
Its investors include Centene Corporation, F-Prime Capital Partners, GV, Oak HC/FT and Polaris Partners, among others.
Quartet was founded in 2014, with the goal being to improve care coordination for those with mental health conditions. Its platform brings together physicians, mental health providers and insurers, allowing them to share information and better collaborate care.
Quartet Health boasts $159.5 million in total funding raised, according to Crunchbase.
Meanwhile, Noom raised $58 million in Series E funding, which was led by Sequoia Capital.
Other high profile investors include Josh Kushner and Scooter Braun, as well as Tony Xu, who is the co-founder of DoorDash, and others.
The 11-year-old company has created an app that uses behavior change to help people lose weight.
Since its inception, Noom has raised a total of $114.7 million.
Finally, virtual therapy startup Talkspace came in with the fifth highest behavioral health fundraising total of 2019.
It raised $50 million in Series D funding, bringing total funding raised up to $106.7M, according to Crunchbase.
New York-based Talkspace provides therapy through a subscription-based platform. Its investors include Revolution Growth, Norwest Venture Partners, Qumra Capital and Spark Capital, among others.