Bicycle Health snags $50M in funding to drive accelerated growth in virtual opioid addiction treatment

Bicycle Health, the virtual provider of treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), banked $50 million in fresh funding, bringing its total fundraise to date to $83 million.

The funding was part of a series B round led by InterAlpen Partners, alongside participation from existing investors Questa Capital, Frist Cressey Ventures and City Light Capital. 

The provider will use the funding to grow its clinical and tech teams, advance its platform, expand partnerships and develop more research into the efficacy of its model. (It has already published peer-reviewed research, claiming to be the first provider of its kind to do so.)

“For too long, Americans struggling with opioid addiction have felt lost when looking for treatment options—whether due to lack of access to in-person facilities or the monetary and social costs traditionally associated with treatment,” Ankit Gupta, founder and CEO of Bicycle Health, said in a statement. “Bicycle Health has proven there’s a different way to help people face their OUD.”

Bicycle Health, true to its name, aims to be a vehicle for supporting patients in recovery and improving treatment access. Since 2021, the provider’s team has grown 134% and it has expanded into seven additional states. Founded in 2017, the company has served 15,000 patients to date, according to Bicycle Health, and has saved the healthcare system more than $1.1 billion. It is currently available in 25 states. 

The company was conceived after Gupta worked at a pain clinic in northern California and observed the stigma that kept many from accepting necessary treatment. He cited research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that found 80% of people with opioid addiction are not receiving treatment. With telemedicine, Gupta told Fierce Healthcare, it was possible to make the process more anonymous, which helped break down the barriers to seeking help.

The virtual platform not only facilitates quick delivery of care but also helps monitor patients to ensure continuity of care, Gupta noted, something many experts agree that providers without proper technology struggle to do.

In March, the company inked partnerships with Molina Healthcare and McLaren Health Plans in Michigan, UHC Community Plan in Arizona, Health First Colorado (the state’s Medicaid program) and Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas. In total, these payer partnerships have the potential to reach more than 8 million patients, the company said. Coverage will include medication management, behavioral health (individual or group psychotherapy, medical care), support groups and care coordination.

“At the core of Bicycle Health is a culture that focuses on serving others, leveraging their technology and product expertise, medical and smart behavioral health programs, and sheer entrepreneurial creativity to create the leading digital health company in the market for helping people with OUD,” Stephen George, founder and managing partner of InterAlpen Partners, said in the announcement. 

Bicycle Health was named a TIME100 Most Influential Company in 2022.