Mental Health Startup Ginger Snags $50M with Investments from Cigna, Kaiser Permanente

On-demand mental health care startup Ginger has raised $50 million in Series D funding, the company announced Thursday.

The funding round was led by Advance Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, with contributions also coming from big names such as Cigna Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Jeff Weiner, the executive chairman of LinkedIn.

The new investments bring Ginger’s total funding raised up to more than $120 million, according to a press release announcing the news. It will help the company expand its reach.


“Our mental healthcare system has long been inadequate. But in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and a tumultuous sociopolitical climate, we’re facing uncharted territory,” CEO Russell Glass said in the press release. “People are demanding better care, and the largest payers of healthcare are recognizing the need to respond. Ginger is uniquely able to reverse the course of this crisis at scale. With this investment, we can accelerate our work to deliver incredible mental healthcare at a fraction of the cost to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who deserve it.”

San Francisco-based Ginger was founded in 2011 and began offering on-demand mental health services back in 2016. Today, that offering remains the company’s bread and butter.

As a virtual behavioral health care system, Ginger partners with employers, health plans and strategic partners to deliver coaching, therapy and psychiatry to members via text and video.


Currently, more than 200 companies partner with Ginger to give employees access to those services. Some examples include Delta Air Lines, Domino’s and Sephora. Members can also access services as in-member benefits through health plans such as Optum Behavioral Health, Anthem California and Aetna Resources for Living.

Since the COVID-19 emergency hit, demand for Ginger’s services have been in higher demand than ever.

According to a survey by the company, nearly 70% of U.S. workers identified this as the most stressful period of their careers, in line with 9/11 and the 2008 Great Recession. As a result, Ginger has seen record demand for its services, with weekly utilization up 125% for coaching and 265% for therapy and psychiatry in July 2020 compared to before the coronavirus.

Plus, the company has more than tripled its revenue in the past year, according to the press release.

Ginger isn’t the only mental health startups experiencing increased investment and interest amid COVID-19.

Mental health startups saw a record number of deals in Q2 2020, with 57 transactions, according to business analytics company CB Insights. Plus, mental health startups received nearly half a billion dollars in funding in during the quarter.

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