Meru Health — which provides online-led solutions to treat various behavioral conditions — has raised $38 million in a Series B round led by Industry Ventures. The latest funding raised by the San Mateo, California-based company was announced Thursday.
Other firms participating in the round included early investors Bold Capital Partners, Freestyle VC, FMZ Ventures and Leksell Social Ventures, with financing also provided by J.P. Morgan.
The new funding consisted of a mix of equity and debt, bringing the total amount thus far raised by the company to $43.3 million, according to fundraising tracking site Crunchbase.
Launched in 2018, Meru Health offers users a 12-week treatment program for depression, burnout and anxiety, with sessions led by licensed therapists. In addition to the program, coaching services are also available through Meru Health’s platform.
Meru’s 12-week treatment program combines therapist and psychiatrist support to guide users through activities such as behavioral and biofeedback practices, mindfulness, as well as habit-changing exercises for conditions like sleep and nutrition. Anonymous peer support is also provided, with participants given access to digital resources and use of a biofeedback device for nine months after completing the program.
Meru Health additionally offers recently-unveiled coaching support for mild anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as for stress. Chat-based coaching and peer support services are available, in addition to virtual workshops and digital content designed to improve users’ wellbeing.
Meru Health works with employers such as Stanford University and several Fortune 100 and 500 companies — as well as with the Seattle-based Wellspring Employee Assistance Program, along with insurers like Cigna, Humana and Moda Health — for an online mental health care program that the company says demonstrates strong and lasting clinical outcomes.
In a previous study of an eight-week intervention program created by Meru Heallth to treat anxiety and depression, 60% of participants reported reduced anxiety and depression symptoms 12 months after the program ended. The peer-reviewed results were published in 2019 by the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
“We were so impressed with the team’s commitment to addressing a pressing societal and market need with best-in-class clinical evidence and data,” Industry Ventures Vice President Fanni Fan said in a press release announcing the funding. “We also found Meru Health’s new coaching solution very exciting. Meru Health is essentially serving members across the continuum by bringing preventive care to mental health.”
Meru Health’s co-founder and CEO is Kristian Ranta. Along with Riku Lindholm and Albert Nazander, Ranta established the company after his older brother — who had been battling depression — committed suicide several years earlier.
“His depression … wasn’t properly treated or addressed,” Ranta told Behavioral Health Business in an April interview. “And then I went through my own therapy. After that, I realized how much of a bad shape the mental health care industry is in.”
Meru Health plans to use the latest funding to accelerate the company’s nationwide expansion, expand access to its coaching solution and broaden efforts to partner with health care payers and employers.
“I can’t emphasize enough that we are in a mental health crisis right now,” Ranta said in the press release announcing the new funding. “COVID-19 has left tens of millions of depressed and anxious people in its wake, and without effective treatment, the outcome could be tragic. Solutions like Meru Health are essential to bringing those people back to a fully functioning state where they feel empowered to take care of their own mental health.”