Ginger Raises Another $100M in Financing Round Led by Blackstone

Ginger has raised another huge chunk of financing. This time, the on-demand virtual behavioral health care system brought in $100 million in a Series E round led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth.

The new money brings Ginger’s total funding raised to more than $220 million, according to a press release announcing the news. Plus, it pushes the San Francisco-based company’s value up to about $1.1 billion, according to a Ginger spokesperson.

The news comes just about seven months after Ginger announced that it had raised $50 million in a Series D funding round, which drew participation from big name investors such as Cigna (NYSE: CI) and Kaiser Permanente.

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Blackstone Growth is a heavy hitter, too. It’s the global growth equity business of the private equity giant Blackstone (NYSE: BX), which currently has $619 billion in assets under its management. Blackstone Growth, which began investing in 2020, focuses specifically on funding entrepreneurs in high-growth environments, with the goal being to transform successful regional businesses into global industry leaders.

Ginger is already on its way to achieving that goal. More than 10 million people across 40 countries currently have access to Ginger’s services through its partnership with employers, health plans and strategic partners. Those services include coaching, therapy and psychiatry visits, which are delivered to members via text or video.

As its funding raised over the past year indicates, Ginger’s business has boomed amid the pandemic, which brought telehealth into the mainstream. Since this time last year, the company has nearly tripled its employee base and expanded its team of behavioral health coaches, clinicians, engineers and operational leaders.

At the same time, the number of employees who have used technology-based mental health support over the past year has increased by 66%, according to Ginger’s Third Annual Workforce Attitudes Toward Mental Health Report.

Additionally, in 2020, Ginger got on board with health care’s shift to value-based care. It introduced a new value-based model that allows employers to offer workers and their dependents access to Ginger’s entire spectrum of care for a fixed fee. In the past 12 months, about 60% of Ginger’s new clients have opted for the model.

With its newly raised Series E funding, Ginger plans to continue expanding its value-based push via more partnerships with employers and health plans, according to the press release announcing the news. Plus, in the first half of 2021, it aims to score government payer relationships and collaborations with non-profit organizations to better support underserved populations.

Finally, Ginger will use the money to acquire innovative technologies and clinical services to improve and scale its on-demand mental health system.

Those goals are in-line with the vision CEO Russell Glass shared with Behavioral Health Business back in August. At the time, he told BHB he expected Ginger to double or triple its health plan-driven business by late 2021 — and that Medicare and Medicaid partnerships were “1,000%” part of the company’s plan.

“Our vision is a world where mental health is never an obstacle,” Glass said. “Ultimately, we can’t accomplish that vision unless we can support people who have public health care and government-funded health care.”

Ginger isn’t the only virtual behavioral health provider to drum up interest and millions of dollars in funding as of late. Investors have flocked to the space amid the coronavirus, due to the negative impact the virus has had on Americans’ mental health — and the positive impact it’s had on the adoption of telehealth.

In fact, digital behavioral health investment nearly tripled year-over-year in 2020, according to the digital health venture fund Rock Health. Overall, the space saw 55 deals last year for a total of about $1.8 billion, Rock Health reported.

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