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Building a Happier Mindset

Building a Happier Mindset
October 28, 2020

2020 has been the year of stress. From a pandemic outbreak, record-high unemployment rates,  a global shift to working at home, an upcoming election, uprising over racial injustice...should we keep going? The impact on the nation is becoming evident with the CDC reporting higher anxiety and depression during this time. But it is not all negative. As it becomes evident that mental health impacts will outlast the pandemic, these companies are helping break the conventional boundaries of mental healthcare, making it easier to get access to help when it is needed. 


Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash

Keep Calm and Let Celebrities Read You a Bedtime Story
Calm is a mobile application focused on sleep, meditation, and relaxation. Launched in 2012, it is already one of the top growing meditation apps and a unicorn after its Series B funding in 2019. Aside from therapist-guided meditation sessions, it has gained attention with its bedtime stories read by celebrities like LeBron James, Matthew McConaughey, and more. 

  • A report by Bloomberg mentioned the company is looking to raise more funding, although nothing has been announced yet. 
  • They did, however, just launch a partnership with another digital health unicorn Lyra Health to tap into the corporate market. 

Clear Way for Headspace 
Headspace is a direct competitor to Calm, as a mobile app service focused on meditation and sleep. 

  • It raised three rounds of funding of over $140MM in 2020 alone, helping build its momentum. 
  • Headspace has also tapped into partnerships with corporations early and reports to have over 1,000 partnerships through their Headspace for Work product, including a new partnership with Microsoft in September.
  • The company announced that they will welcome their current President and COO CeCe Morken as CEO in Jan 2021, replacing the current CEO and co-founder Rich Pierson. 

On-demand text and video mental healthcare 
Ginger markets as an on-demand mental healthcare service where you can text with a trained behavioral health coach and have video meetings with licensed therapists or psychiatrists at ease and was founded in 2011 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It uses AI & machine learning to continuously improve both access to and quality of care.

  • It received $50MM in funding in August this year led by Advance Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as Cigna Ventures, Kaiser Permanent Ventures, and Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner.
  • The company said it saw up to a 265% spike in demand compared to pre-COVID-19 averages. 
  • It just launched a partnership with Accolade, a recently public benefits provider, to offer employers a mental healthcare solution. 

Mega round funding raised
Previously mentioned Lyra Health is a behavioral healthcare service that connects companies and employees to mental health providers, therapy, and coaching programs and is headquartered in Burlingame, California. 

  • Not only inking partnerships, Lyra Health also raised two rounds of funding in August and March this year for $110MM and $75MM respectively pushing them to unicorn status. 
  • They have reported having added more than 800,000 new members since the start of the pandemic. 

Text therapy
Talkspace, founded in New York, focuses on texting as a way to access licensed therapists through their website or mobile app.  

  • The service comes with a $260 monthly price tag but has seen unprecedented demand with over 38,000 installs in September in the U.S. 
  • It has seen so much demand it is having trouble matching therapists to the state they are licensed to work in. 

Get happier with mindfulness
New York-based Happify labels itself as a life tech company that offers delivery models to improve mental and physical health using science-based activities and games that promote mindfulness and positivity. 

  • The company launched a free 2020 Survival Kit this month to celebrate World Mental Health Day.
  • It has also partnered with Welltok, a privately owned company that is also in the healthcare industry and uses data and machine learning to improve a person’s wellbeing, and will be integrated into its ecosystem. 

Passive tracking to detect mental health symptoms
Mindstrong is a Silicon Valley-based company that offers a variety of services to promote mental health.

  • This includes video messaging and phone calls for patients to tap into therapy providers, managing care plans and medication, as well as a digital biomarker that tracks a patient’s smartphone behavior to check for signs of stress, depression, or other mental health symptoms. 
  • The company raised a $100MM round of funding in May to further scale its business. 

The Bottom Line
These different companies have definitely brought mental healthcare mainstream. However, many experts continue to caution that the apps should not replace traditional therapy but rather complement it. At the same time, privacy concerns and the ability of these private companies to tap into sensitive information will need to be handled carefully by many of these companies. 

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1898 Companies | 130 Funding Activities | 78 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Grayshift, a provider of mobile device digital forensics has raised a $47MM Series A round of financing, led by PeakEquity Partners.

Conducto, a company that offers a platform for simplifying complex data science pipelines, has raised $3MM in seed funding led by Jump Capital. 

eVisit, a SaaS telehealth company focused on enabling virtual care for hospitals and health systems, completed a $14MM Series A funding led by TVC Capital.

TechSee, a Tel-Aviv company that uses computer vision AI and AR to provide a customer service video assistance platform raises a $30MM Series C funding co-led by OurCrowd, Salesforce Ventures, and TELUS Ventures, with participation from Scale Venture Partners and Planven Entrepreneur Ventures. 

KETOS, a water intelligence, and analytics innovator closed $18MM in financing led by Motley Fool Ventures with participation from Citi and Illuminated Funds Group as new investors.

Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur, a Chinese ride-hailing firm raises a Series C funding that has not been disclosed but is reported to be around $100MM USD. 

Global medical technology company and healthcare equipment provider Vapotherm receives $52MM in growth financing from CIBC.

Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust acquires Simply Self Storage for approximately $1.2BN.

Spectrum Brands acquires the UK and continental Europe pet treat and toy company, Armitage Pet Products

First American Financial Corporation, a leading global provider of title insurance, settlement services, and risk solutions for real estate transactions, has acquired ServiceMac, a mortgage sub-servicing company.

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