Digital Behavioral Startup Hurdle Raises $5 Million to Help Underserved Communities

Hurdle, a digital behavioral health startup that specializes in treating underserved communities, has raised $5 million in seed funding.

Seae Ventures and 406 Ventures led the funding round, with additional participation from F-Prime Capital Partners, according to a press release announcing the news.

Hurdle, which was formerly Henry Health, was founded in 2018 with a focus on providing services to Black men, who have been documented to experience considerably high levels of stress due to institutional racism but who are less likely to receive mental health treatment than other groups. The company rebranded itself as Hurdle last August.

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Based in Washington, D.C., Hurdle offers telehealth therapy and workshops for stress management and grief coping, as well as digital self-care apps. It provides direct-to-consumer services but is also working to scale by selling directly to payers and large employers.

Hurdle was one of nine startups from more than 450 applicants tapped to be part of Morgan Stanley’s (NYSE: MS) 2020 Multicultural Innovation Lab, an accelerator program for multicultural and woman-founded startups. Hurdle has also previously received seed funding from StartUp Health, which invests in innovative health companies.

Hurdle said the latest funding will go toward expanding its leadership team and its reach, according to founder and CEO Kevin Dedner.

“With depression spiking in Black and minority communities, this year is an inflection point in mental healthcare,” Dedner said in the press release. “The events of 2020 present a unique opportunity for Hurdle to create solutions that work for anyone, but most importantly, for the most underserved populations.”

Hurdle isn’t the only digital behavioral health startup to see investment as of late. The coronavirus pandemic prompted digital behavioral health investment to nearly triple year-over-year in 2020, according to the digital health venture fund Rock Health. Overall, the digital behavioral health space saw 55 deals last year for a total of about $1.8 billion, Rock Health reported.

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