Conduit Market Maps: The Future of Mental Health

Across the mental healthcare ecosystem, a new class of category-defining startups launched novel treatment solutions across therapy, prescription, and meditation verticals. Over the past few months specifically, catalyzed by quarantine orders, mental health issues have skyrocketed.

At Conduit, we sat down with our team and extended network of founders, investors, and operators to dive deeper into the rapidly evolving mental health startup ecosystem. While evaluating the variety of business models on display, we highlighted a handful of companies in each vertical that immediately stood out in their mission, vision, and core value proposition.

Within the digital and in-person therapy space, a handful of companies have launched in the past few years to tackle the mental health affordability crisis. The early leaders in this ecosystem are similarly focused on building grassroots provider networks underpinning personalized treatments and insurance support options for their communities.

Headway is a managed marketplace solving mental health’s affordability crisis. The Headway team is heads-down building out a national marketplace layered on top of a network of top tier therapists so people can get access to high-quality mental healthcare.

Two Chairs provides in-person psychotherapy at thoughtfully-designed clinics across the Bay Area, with plans to expand. Two Chairs tailors care to its patients’ unique needs, goals, and preferences via personalized matching and concierge insurance support.

Among the handful of leaders in the therapy space, Alma stood out in its mission to simplify access to high quality, affordable mental health care by helping therapists, coaches, and wellness professionals run their business. The brand’s online directory houses profiles that offer greater insight into a provider’s background, personality, and practice.

More specifically, the NYC-based startup empowers its members with a diverse network of peers and insurance partnerships that make it rewarding to go in-network and easy-to-use technology that simplifies scheduling, billing, and client communication.

Across the country, approximately 50% of people with depression don’t get treatment. 47% of those affected can’t afford treatment. Over the past couple of years, a handful of high-growth startups have risen to tackle this problem head-on through a variety of approaches.

Brightside makes it simple and affordable to get expert, personalized treatment for depression and anxiety. Delivered by experts, doctors, and therapists, Brightside combines evidence-based treatment approaches with the latest technology to deliver the best care available.

Cerebral is a mental health subscription that provides clients with ongoing, comprehensive access to online care and medication management for anxiety, depression, and insomnia for one flat monthly rate. Last year, the company raised a stealth seed round.

Among this cohort, Mood stood out to our team immediately: a medication service, offering no-pressure clinicians who can work with clients to figure out whether antidepressants or a non-pharma alternative, might work to allow them to start feeling better about themselves. It is designed to be affordable, and no insurance is necessary to employ their services.

More specifically, Mood stood out in its holistic treatment of depression and anxiety. By combining medication with digital treatments, the company is able to partner with patients for high efficacy, comprehensive care. In the wake of quarantine over the past few months, the company’s value proposition and pent-up demand have only grown stronger.

Over the past decade, a host of meditation-focused therapies have sprung into existence with the backing of significant venture capital resources. The leaders in the mindfulness space, including those noted below, have hit valuations well north of $1B. In the coming years, digital meditation resources will continue to weave their way into mainstream consciousness.

Calm is a leading global health and wellness brand with the #1 app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation. With hundreds of hours of original audio content, Calm’s widely acclaimed app helps users cope with mental health issues like anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

Headspace was created with one mission in mind: to improve the health and happiness of the world. Reaching more than 65 million users in 190 countries, Headspace was one of the first meditation apps in existence and continues to remain a leader in mental training.

While Calm and Headspace, among a host of other companies in the meditation space, have a higher degree of popularity and name recognition, our team was thoroughly impressed by the vision behind Journey: a simple meditation practice designed for the modern world.

Journey is a fast-growing NYC startup that’s building the world’s largest community for mental wellbeing, both online and off. The team built Journey LIVE, the first live group meditation app with a vision to build the first Peloton for meditation. In the wake of stay-at-home orders over the past couple of quarters, Journey’s community has swelled tremendously.

In our final cohort, we dove into the wave of startups looking to create ways for employees to more efficiently seek care across the mental health space. More specifically, this group of companies is focused on creating intelligent matching systems for modern workforces.

Lyra Health enables employees to access the best mental health providers and the most effective treatments from a wide network of providers. Put simply, Lyra offers the best mental health care for your workforce, supercharged by a software-enabled platform at scale.

Joon offers a wellness platform specifically tailored to a remote workforce, making it easy for employees to self direct their benefits while eliminating the administrative burden. Critically, Joon’s algorithm automatically approves and reimburses eligible transactions.

Among this group, Spring Health stood out to our team: a platform for smaller companies to help their employees get more access to mental health treatment. Spring gives employers a simple, effective way to start offering that treatment for their employees via personalized wellness plans.

Through Spring, employees get access to confidential plans, a broader care network, and ways to contact a therapist or psychiatrist in an efficient manner. Ultimately, Sprig impressed our team because its hones in on personalized mental health plans and recommendations from the outset, as opposed than connecting your core workforce to care after the fact.

At Conduit, we connect the world’s best operator-investors and founders building the next generation of startups around the world.

As we scale our platform, understanding key market shifts across verticals will become increasingly vital. Our team will be digging deeper into emerging trends and first movers in the coming weeks, which you can find here.

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