Mental Health Startup Funding on the Rise

Mental Health Startup Funding on the Rise

Lorenzo Silva
2 min read

Surge in Investment in Mental Health Startups Amidst Pandemic

The mental health sector has experienced a significant upturn, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2019 to 2022, U.S. spending on mental health services soared by 53%, propelled in part by the uptake of telehealth platforms. Presently, over 20% of American adults undergo mental health treatment annually, mainly through one-on-one therapy sessions.

In response to this demand, investors and entrepreneurs have been pouring funds into mental health startups, particularly those offering telehealth services, AI-enabled platforms, and tailored therapies for specific demographics such as teenagers and the elderly. Although investment levels have slightly waned from their peak in 2021, sizable funding rounds are still taking place.

Recent noteworthy investments in mental health startups highlight significant funding activity. Talkiatry, a New York-based psychiatric care startup, secured $130 million, focusing on insurance-covered services. Grow Therapy obtained $88 million to enhance mental health care aligned with insurance plans. Two Chairs and InStride Health garnered substantial funding by developing algorithms to match patients with therapists and focusing on pediatric anxiety treatment. Despite these successes, the sector saw setbacks with startups like Done and Cerebral facing legal issues related to improper prescriptions and privacy breaches. Other notable deals include Octave's $52 million Series C round led by Cigna Ventures to expand its virtual care services nationwide, Cognito's $2 million seed funding to expand in Canada, Amaha's $4.4 million Series A funding for mental health services in India, and Valera Health's $44.5 million growth equity round to enhance virtual mental health care across several states

Key Takeaways

  • Mental health spending in the U.S. surged by 53% from 2019 to 2021, reaching $280 billion.
  • Over 20% of American adults receive mental health treatment annually, primarily through therapy.
  • In 2023, mental health startups focusing on insurance-covered care attracted significant investments.
  • Startups like Talkiatry and Grow Therapy secured substantial funding for providing in-network psychiatric services.
  • Investors also support startups developing AI-enabled platforms and targeted services for specific demographics.


The surge in the mental health sector, driven by heightened telehealth adoption and the impact of COVID-19, has enticed substantial venture capital, particularly into startups like Talkiatry and Grow Therapy. These investments target insurance-aligned services and underserved demographics, reflecting a strategic focus on scalability and market penetration. In the short term, this influx facilitates service expansion and technological innovation, but long-term sustainability hinges on regulatory compliance and ethical practices, as emphasized by failures like Cerebral. Despite recent investment dips, the sector's potential remains robust, propelled by ongoing mental health crises and evolving consumer preferences towards digital solutions.

Did You Know?

  • Telehealth Platforms: These refer to digital services enabling remote mental health treatment through video calls, phone calls, or messaging, offering a convenient and accessible way to access mental health services without in-person visits.
  • AI-Enabled Platforms: These utilize artificial intelligence technologies to enhance mental health treatment and diagnosis, aiming to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of mental health services through personalized and data-driven approaches.
  • Targeted Therapies for Specific Demographics: Specialized treatment approaches designed to meet the unique needs of groups such as teenagers, the elderly, or individuals with specific mental health conditions, addressing the distinct challenges and risk factors associated with these demographics. This approach enhances accessibility and quality of mental health care for underserved groups.

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