Hybrid Youth Mental Health Provider Blackbird Health Raises $17M

Tech-backed youth mental health provider Blackbird Health has raised $17 million in Series A funding.

Define Ventures led this new round of funding, bringing the startup’s total raise to roughly $23 million. Frist Cressey Ventures and GreyMatter also participated in this funding round.

The Pittsburgh-based startup plans to use the new capital to fuel its growth strategy.


“We plan to expand to new markets, identifying them by working with our payer partners to understand what communities they support that have need — and by working with community partners (health systems, pediatricians, etc.) to build community density,” Tom Peterson, Blackbird’s CEO, told Behavioral Health Business, in an email. “We’ll also invest in expanding our team and building new AI-powered technologies to further innovate our approach.”

How it works

Black Bird is a hybrid mental health provider that caters to children and young adults aged 2 to 26. The provider specializes in caring for patients with anxiety, depression, ADHD, speech and language differences, sensory and motor differences, learning differences, behavioral concerns, and mood regulation. It also offers autism evaluation and care.

Its care team includes:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners
  • Development specialists
  • Autism evaluators
  • Speech and language pathologists
  • Various types of therapists

Founded in 2014, the company differentiates itself using computational models and machine-learning algorithms to help pinpoint and identify patient patterns to improve care.

“The computational models analyze our 10-year foundational dataset to identify customers of individuals with similar experiences and symptoms — what we call Blackbird Biotypes,'” Peterson said. “These biotypes allow our clinicians to more accurately and precisely diagnose a young person, which also leads to more precise and personalized treatment approaches.

“For instance, a Blackbird clinician may identify a young person with ADHD presents with more physiological symptoms, which is different from a young person with ADHD with root causes that are more related to speech and language issues. So, these computational models both help inform the diagnosis and treatment.”

Blackbird has virtual offerings and brick-and-mortar locations. Approximately 75% of its services are delivered virtually and 25% are in-person. Peterson noted that “a significant percentage” of its clinicians can provide care in either modality.

The provider has three brick-and-mortar locations in the Mid-Atlantic region, including two in Pennsylvania and one in Virginia.

“We use an upfront triage process to determine whether the patient would benefit more from in-person vs. virtual care tied to age, diagnostic concern, and other factors, and in-person vs. virtual services may change for a patient over time,” Peterson said.

Funding for virtual behavioral health companies has dipped since its peak in 2021. Still, some providers have secured venture funding over the last few months. For example, virtual mental health provider Headlight landed $18 million in January, ABA company Forta Health raised $55 million last month and suicide prevention startup Vita closed a $22.5 million Series A funding round.

Companies featured in this article: