Alma — A Startup to Support Behavioral Health Providers — Raises $28M

Alma, a membership-based network for behavioral health providers, has raised $28 million in Series B funding, the company announced Tuesday.

The round was led by Insight Partners, with participation from existing investors BoxGroup, Primary Venture Partners, Rainfall Ventures, Sound Ventures and Tusk Venture Partners. Optum Ventures, a first-time Alma investor, also participated.

The latest round brings Alma’s total funding raised up to $40.5 million, according to the fundraising tracker Crunchbase.

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Alma was founded in 2018 by Harry Ritter, who formerly held a vice president position with health care insurance platform Oscar Health. Oscar is a current insurance partner of Alma, along with insurers such as Aetna, the tech-focused Optum Behavioral Health (which is not affiliated with Optum Ventures), Oxford Health Plans and UnitedHealthcare (which is the parent company of Optum Behavioral Health).

Unlike many digital behavioral health providers, whose platforms are built primarily around the patient experience, Alma is a provider-focused company. It equips independent mental health care providers with digital tools to help them manage a variety of practice operations, including appointment scheduling, training billing, revenue cycle management, online meeting services and more. Additionally, it allows providers to accept insurance by working with payers on their behalf to reduce costs.

The ultimate goal of Alma is to improve the quality and access of mental health care by giving providers the tools they need to succeed.

Alma can help providers facilitate in-person sessions with clients, though since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, its business of brokering virtual meetings has risen exponentially. According to Alma, facilitations of virtual sessions with clients grew by 17 times in 2020.

The funding for Alma comes at a time when investors are continuing to pour money into a number of mental health startups. According to Crunchbase, more than 130 venture capital-backed deals totaling $1.1 billion have occurred in the space since January 2016.

The new funding will help Alma grow its team, invest in product development and increase its in-network care options, the company announced in a press release announcing the news.

“We believe that when mental health providers have the support they need, mental healthcare gets better for everyone,” Ritter said in the press release. “By providing great clinicians with our technology platform and business support services, we’ve helped our members seamlessly transition their practices to teletherapy while offering more affordable care by taking insurance.”

Along with the funding, the company announced two additions to its board of directors: Martha Temple, the former CEO of Optum Behavioral Health, and Ross Devor, managing director of Insight Partners. The company also announced the addition of Esther Perel, a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author, to its clinical advisory board.

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