Mental health startup UpLift announced Tuesday it had raised $8 million in a funding round led by B Capital Group.
Additional investors participating in the round include Clover Health cofounder and CEO Vivek Garipalli, Cityblock Health cofounder and head of product Bay Gross, and Thyme Care president and former Flatiron Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bobby Green, with others contributing pro rata financing.
Launched in May, the funding builds on $3.1 million from Redesign Health.
“There’s a lot of people raising money, a lot of interesting companies, and I think that ultimately what’s missing is this integrated model. Therapy for us is a hybrid, so it’s in-person and virtual. That’s where those relationships really are built,” UpLift CEO Kyle Talcott told MobiHealthNews.
“Psychiatry allows us to move upstream and handle more complex conditions that, frankly, a lot of the existing solutions out there aren’t able to handle.”
WHAT IT DOES
UpLift connects patients with in-network therapists and mental health providers, either virtually or in-person. Therapists can also work with UpLift to find clients and manage their schedules.
Users are able to enter their insurance information to determine potential costs. Talcott said out-of-pocket costs per session for an individual averages around $30 on the platform.
Instead of focusing on working with employers to offer its service, the company is partnering with insurers, including BCBS CareFirst, UnitedHealthcare/Optum, Cigna and BCBS Anthem.
“I think the employer model is interesting. One of the challenges I see more broadly is just the amount of churn in employment. These days, it’s increasing,” Talcott said.
“But if you leave your employer who has this great benefit, you’re sort of starting over. And it’s really hard to find the right therapist, and then having to start over every couple of years is pretty daunting.”
WHAT IT’S FOR
UpLift will use the influx of capital to integrate psychiatry into its platform, which Talcott said will allow the company to help people who have higher-level mental healthcare needs.
In 2022, UpLift plans to more than double its geographic footprint; currently the startup operates in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland.
“When we go into a new market, we really want to build deep relationships with the local primary care community, the health systems and certainly the health plans. And so you won’t see us in a hundred different markets or half the country by the end of next year.
“But you will see us in several new states, some contiguous and some a little bit different, so that we can learn both about different patient demographics, as well as different provider systems,” Talcott said.
Behavioral and mental healthcare is a rapidly growing space in digital health. It’s the leading clinical-indication area for investment, bringing in $3.1 billion so far in 2021, according to an October Rock Health report.
Mental healthcare is making up a significant portion of telehealth claims. In September, more than 61% of telehealth claims were for mental health conditions, up from nearly 59% in August, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker.
Others in the field include SonderMind, the newly merged Headspace Health and Quartet Health, which last week announced a $60 million funding round and the acquisition of InnovaTel Telepsychiatry.