Mental health startup Ahead will shut down operations.
The company, officially incorporated as Abe Health LLC, posted on its website that it was no longer taking new patients as of April 14 and will stop caring for current patients on June 24.
“At Ahead, our mission has always been to provide accessible, quality, and judgment-free mental healthcare,” the Ahead website reads. “And while we’ve made great strides toward this mission, it is with deep regret that we share that it is time for us to close our doors. This decision was not easy to make and we understand this sudden change may be difficult news to hear.”
Behavioral Health Business reached out to several parties related to Ahead, including San Mateo, California-based Truepill Inc., which invested $9 million in Ahead, for comment.
Sid Viswanathan, Truepill’s CEO, said in a statement emailed to Behavioral Health Business that the company had pivoted totally to focus exclusively on its b2b operations.
“With that, we made the difficult decision to no longer invest in Ahead,” Viswanathan said.
Crunchbase.com, an investment tracking site, shows that this is the only capital Ahead raised since its founding in 2017.
Ahead offered ADHD medication management and telehealth services on a subscription basis. The company’s website states that it also offered anxiety and depression medications. Truepill also acted as Ahead’s pharmacy partner, allowing Ahead to offer mail-order prescriptions.
Ahead has 44 employees, Bloomberg reported, citing LinkedIn. In addition, Ahead’s two co-founders left the company this month.
This news comes after the co-founder of New York-based virtual addiction treatment provider Halcyon Health announced that it would shut down.
Leading into the pandemic, several health care startups popped up seeking to digitize some portion of the outpatient behavioral health experience. After the onset of the pandemic, and what it magnified or worsened in terms of behavioral health in the U.S., massive amounts of funding poured into these companies.
Case in point: San Francisco-based Cerebral Inc. launched in 2020 and raised $300 million at Series C on a $4.8 billion valuation in December 2021.
Research from the investment and consulting firm Rock Health shows that digital mental health startups raised about $5.1 billion last year.
Experts with Rock Health and elsewhere projected that 2022 would see a raft of digital mental health M&A as point solutions could prove unsustainable and the behavioral health industry often requires companies to have a comprehensive platform. BHB reporting also found that the pressure on innovative companies and startups to produce value increased with the flood of money into the space.