Mental health startup Lyra Health now worth $4.6B with latest megaround

smartphone screens with screen shots of Lyra Health's virtual mental health tools
Lyra Health also announced an expanded global strategy. The new offerings for international preventive care and mental health coaching expand on Lyra’s recently announced partnership with ICAS, a global employee assistance program provider, to offer care to people in more than 180 countries with support from more than 85,000 mental health providers. (Lyra Health)

High-flying startup Lyra Health, a provider of mental health benefits for employees, banked $200 million in new funding to raise its valuation to a reported $4.6 billion.

The company has raised $680 million to date.

Investor hedge fund Coatue Management led the round and was joined by new investor Sands Capital, along with existing investors.

With the fresh capital, Lyra plans to accelerate its delivery of evidence-based mental health benefits for companies with employees located around the world.

In addition to the funding news, Lyra Health also announced an expanded global strategy. The new offerings for international preventive care and mental health coaching expand on Lyra’s recently announced partnership with ICAS, a global employee assistance program (EAP) provider, to offer care to people in more than 180 countries with support from more than 85,000 mental health providers, the company said.

Lyra's new global mental health digital platform will provide members around the world with one place to access all of Lyra’s care options and services, such as preventive care, mental health coaching, therapy and medication. Lyra plans to make the unified platform available in 2022.

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The Burlingame, California-based company offers an array of in-person and remote behavioral therapy that helps remove barriers to accessing high-quality mental health care. The company currently serves more than 2.2 million members globally.

Lyra works with leading multinational companies, including eBay; Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; Uber; and VCA Animal Hospitals.

In the U.S., close to 48 million people, or 1 in 5 adults, experienced mental illness in 2018, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The demand for mental health care, and long-standing issues with access to care, is attracting attention during the COVID-19 pandemic and new players are jumping into the market. But the market continues to be underserved, according to industry leaders.
 
Lyra provides evidence-based care that supports people across all facets of mental health, from wellness and preventive care to the most severe conditions. Lyra’s blended care therapy pairs video counseling sessions, one-to-one messaging, and digital activities prescribed by the provider to support individuals in their everyday lives. The treatment model, based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles, provides ongoing support between sessions.

Lyra’s network includes more than 5,000 coaches, therapists, and doctors in the U.S., with an additional 85,000 providers available worldwide through global partnerships.
 
A peer-reviewed study found Lyra’s blended care therapy helped 83% of participants improve or recover from anxiety or depression. Comparatively, just 24% of people who receive care through traditional health plans demonstrate reliable clinical improvement, according to the company.

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“One in five people struggle with mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, or substance use disorder,” said David Ebersman, Lyra Health CEO and co-founder in a statement. “Delivering mental health care for diverse employee populations around the world is one of the most pressing and complex issues for employers today, and this new funding will help Lyra accelerate our plans to deliver comprehensive global solutions.”

The mental health market is booming and investors are pouring major cash into the sector. Globally, mental health startups raised a record high of $2 billion in equity funding in 2020, according to CB Insights.

Lyra Health reached "unicorn" status back in August, the term used for when a startup reaches a $1 billion valuation. On-demand mental health company Ginger also reached unicorn status following a series E funding round. San Francisco-based Ginger raised $100 million backed by investment firm Blackstone Growth, boosting its valuation to $1.1 billion, according to the company.

Spring Health, a provider of a mental health benefits platform for employers, landed a $76 million series B funding round led by worldwide investment firm Tiger Global Management. 

Modern Health is one of the fastest entirely women-founded companies in the U.S. to reach unicorn status, the company claims. Riding the wave of investor interest in virtual behavioral health startups, Modern Health has secured $170 million in less than two years and its valuation hit $1.17 billion.