Youth telebehavioral health company Brightline announced Tuesday that it has raised $105 million in a Series C funding round led by global investment firm KKR.
The Palo Alto, California-based company now has raised over $200 million and is valued at $705 million, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
Also participating in the round are existing investors GV (formerly Google Ventures), Optum Ventures, Oak HC/FT, Threshold Ventures, 7wireVentures, Children’s Medical Center Corporation (which is the parent of Boston Children’s Hospital) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
The new funding has occurred almost a year after Brightline raised $72 million in a Series B round led by GV.
“This investment will allow us to accelerate efforts to create greater access to high quality and affordable care at a critical moment,” Brightline CEO Naomi Allen said in an email to Behavioral Health Business.
Founded in 2019, Brightline provides behavioral health care for children, teenagers and families across a variety of needs – touting itself as the first virtual behavioral health solution to focus on this population.
Brightline’s evidenced-based programs are tailored for youth up to 18 years old, with services provided by a multidisciplinary care team consisting of professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists and coaches.
Brightline claims on its website that 80% of parents or caregivers who have used the company’s services have reported significant improvements in their children’s disruptive behavior. Additionally, Brightline asserts that 70% of parents and caregivers have reported that their children’s anxiety showed significant clinical improvement through the company’s assistance.
“We are thrilled to work with Naomi and her team as they continue to build and scale category-leading solutions to the direct benefit of millions of children and families, many of whom are drastically underserved today,” KKR Director Johnny Kim said in a press release issued by Brightline.
Along with the funding, Kim is joining Brightline’s board of directors.
“We are excited to support Brightline in its next phase of growth to help expand access to high-quality, purpose-built mental health care in the face of a huge and growing market need,” Kim added in the release.
Brightline’s funding plans
Brightline currently reaches 24 million covered health plan lives, which it is aiming to increase to over 50 million in 2022. This year, the company also plans to triple its current roster of 85 care providers, including psychologists, psychiatrists, speech-language pathologists and behavioral coaches.
“Our care team is growing,” Allen said. “Our model is designed to help our care team do and be their best: we offer community, support, and mentorship, comprehensive benefits, including for personal wellness, and the opportunity for these folks to focus on their passion, working with kids and teens.”
Brightline has been spending the last year expanding its offerings.
The company late last year announced the expansion of its Brightline Connect platform, which had been launched earlier in 2021 to provide coaching services and caregiving support to families during the pandemic. The platform is now available in all 50 states.
Earlier this year, Brightline began establishing offerings for youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is part of the company’s plans to become the first digital pediatric behavioral health provider to serve the entire family.
Brightline said that the latest funding would help scale up the ASD services. In addition youth with ASD, Brightline plans to roll out new services that include interactive content and enhanced care tools to support families of youth identifying as Black, indigenous and people of color, as well as those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning.
Brightline is also looking to expand its partnerships with health plans and employers. Currently, the company is partnered with such payers as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Aetna and Blue Shield of California.
Brightline is one of a number of youth-focused behavioral health platforms that has seen a rise in funding as youth mental health nationwide is in crisis mode, with an estimated 31% of parents saying that their children’s health has declined during the pandemic. According to investment services firm Telosity by Vinaj Ventures, investments in youth telebehavioral providers jumped 671% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier.
The continued funding of youth telebehavioral providers like Brightline is also coming after U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy late last year issued a national advisory on youth mental health, effectively declaring it a public health issue.
The urgency of youth mental health was further addressed by President Biden in his first State of the Union speech earlier this month. A week after the speech, the Biden administration announced that it was unveiling nearly $35 million in funding to expand youth mental health resources.
“We are at a youth mental health inflection point as a society,” Allen said. “The President mentioned children’s mental health in his first State of the Union address, the Surgeon General declared a youth mental crisis, anxiety and depression rates have doubled since the pandemic, working parents and caregivers are leaving the workforce in droves — and people are finally paying attention.”
Allen told BHB that Brightline’s Series C round is now closed and that the company presently does not have a timeline for any future rounds.