Online pediatric behavioral health startup Elemy launched a little more than a year ago and has now vaulted to unicorn status after raising $219 million in a series B funding round.
The company, formerly known as Sprout Therapy, is now valued at $1.15 billion and plans to use the fresh capital to invest in significantly growing its staff to expand its national reach. The company will also invest in R&D to further enhance its technology offerings and to expand into new areas of behavioral care, company executives said.
The funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and co-led by Goodwater Capital and Premji Invest, with additional investments from Amity Ventures, Avidity Partners, Chelsea Clinton’s Metrodora Ventures, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, and Whale Rock Capital. The round will also see continued participation from earlier investors Bling Capital, Felicis Ventures, Founders Fund, General Catalyst, Headline, SignalFire, Bill Ackman’s TABLE Management and 8VC.
San Francisco-based Elemy has raised $270 million to date, following a $41 million series A in October 2020 led by General Catalyst.
The startup provides in-home and online care services for children with autism and other behavioral health conditions by pairing best-in-class clinicians with better technology.
In May 2020, when the company launched, CEO and co-founder Yury Yakubchyk told Fierce Healthcare the startup aimed to modernize autism care by matching children with therapists who create customized treatment plans that can be administered both in-home and online.
As a software entrepreneur, Yakubchyk launched several other successful startups, including boutique hotel company Life House, which attracted investments from Comcast Ventures and Trinity Ventures. Before Life House, Yakubchyk co-founded Wing, a millennial-friendly wireless phone carrier
Yakubchyk, who was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as a child, said he wanted to turn his attention to solving problems in healthcare.
The current model for autism care is broken and outdated, Yakubchyk told Fierce Healthcare. Families also face a costly process when seeking care for children.
An estimated 1 in 5 American children struggles with a behavioral health disorder in the U.S., yet most are not able to get the care they need. Elemy offers a tech-enabled platform for personalized care. Elemy’s clinicians create customized treatment plans that can be administered both online and in-home, where children are more comfortable and have fewer distractions. Data collected are used to measure efficacy and inform the evolution of both individual treatment plans and broader clinical strategies, according to the company.
“Today is an incredible moment for Elemy as our Series B underscores the velocity of our growth,” Yakubchyk said in a statement. “When we began this journey, we understood that the current model of pediatric behavioral care was broken, as families are waiting months and sometimes years to get the care they need. Since day one, our mission has been to use technology, along with a team of talented and dedicated medical professionals, to completely transform access to quality care. We've partnered with the most renowned tech investors in the world to bring our care to even more homes, nationally, and plan to expand into new areas of treatment for underserved conditions.”
The company has rapidly expanded in 17 months, growing from a team of 109 employees at the time of its seed round to over 1,000 today, many of whom are already delivering care in 14 states. Elemy also saw a 19x year-on-year increase in revenue at the end of August 2021, compared to August 2020, the company reported.
By simplifying the onboarding process and more quickly pairing expert clinicians with patients, Elemy’s platform can reduce the patient onboarding process to as little as 12 weeks from an industry average of six months to two years—giving families back time that is critical for achieving the best possible outcomes for their children, according to the company.
Elemy says its model of care is delivered by a team of board-certified behavior analysts in partnership with highly-trained registered behavior technicians. Patients have reported an average reduction of 83% in problem behaviors after being in care for at least six months while gaining an 88% increase in new skills over the same time period, the company's data show.
"We believe Elemy’s innovative tech-enabled model has the potential to improve the current standard of treatment for pediatric autism and deliver measurable outcomes,” said Andrew Zloto, director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement. “We have been impressed with the speed of Elemy’s growth and expansion since its launch, and are excited to partner with Yury and the team as they continue to grow their business and expand into new areas of pediatric behavioral health.”
Elemy is not alone in the market to offer online and in-home pediatric healthcare services. Pediatric teletherapy provider DotCom Therapy recently secured $13 million in series A funding, backed by New Capital Partners, LRVHealth and OSF Ventures. DotCom Therapy provides speech, behavioral, mental health and occupational therapy to children through its online, face-to-face platform, Zesh.
Hazel Health operates virtual care clinics inside the school nurse's office to connect students to a physician via telehealth and last year landed a $33 million funding round in September 2020.
Daybreak Health is another startup trying to tackle the gaps in mental health care for kids. The company launched in February 2020 and specializes in providing online counseling services, especially for teens.
Brightline recently scored $72 million to fuel the national expansion of its virtual behavioral health solution designed specifically to support children, teenagers, and their families. The Silicon Valley company has lined up notable venture capital and payer investors such as GV (formerly Google Ventures), Optum Ventures and 7wireVentures.
And on-demand mental health care startup Ginger also unveiled a new offering designed for users age 13 to 17. Called Ginger for Teens, the service resembles the startup’s primary platform with the inclusion of digital self-care materials, behavioral health coaching, therapy and psychiatry accessible through a smartphone app.