Spring Health scores $76M investment as employers step up focus on mental health issues

Investors continue to pour cash into the mental health space as the demand for virtual care services soars during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spring Health, provider of a mental health benefits platform for employers, offers what it calls "precision mental healthcare" that matches each employee to the most effective care for them.

The New York City-based startup landed a $76 million series B funding round led by worldwide investment firm Tiger Global Management. GingerBread Capital and Operator Partners, a newly formed fund by Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, the co-founders of Flatiron Health, also joined the latest funding round.

Existing investors Northzone, Rethink Impact, William K. Warren Foundation, Work-Bench, SemperVirens, Able Partners and True Capital also participated.

Six-time NBA all-star and NBA champion Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and two-time WNBA all-star and 2018 WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm also joined the round as individual investors.

The company closed a $22 million series A funding round in January. Founded by Abhishek Chandra, Adam Chekroud and April Koh in 2016, Spring Health has now raised a total of $106 million in reported equity funding.

Spring Health customers include Whole Foods, Instacart, Equinox and Gap.

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Spring Health plans to use the funding to refine its mental health care approach, using cutting-edge technology to match each employee to the most effective care for them. With the aim to become a global leader in behavioral health care benefits, Spring Health will triple its New York-based team and expand its capability to deliver a personalized and effective mental health experience, the company said in a press release.

The company says its unique approach to mental health was founded in science and academia and is based on a proprietary mix of technology with a human touch. The company developed a personalized employer mental health solution that provides a "front-door approach" to any type of care—including digital exercises, coaching, therapy, medication or employee assistance program (EAP) services.

This approach leads to faster outcomes, higher engagement and healthier employees, Spring Health said.

"Mental health is the defining problem of our time. Yet it's still full of trial-and-error,” Koh, co-founder and CEO of Spring Health, said in a statement. “At Spring Health, we’re demystifying mental health and making high-quality care seamlessly accessible for everyone. Our approach precisely delivers the personalized care plan for each individual no matter where they are in their mental health journey, and we guide each individual through their journey through a dedicated navigator.”

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The company's fundraising comes at a time when investments in women-led companies are expected to be the worst since 2017, according to financial data company PitchBook. Only 5% of female entrepreneurs raise series B financings, the company said.

The upheavals of 2020 including COVID-19, the U.S. presidential election and attention brought to continuing racial injustice have led to more and more people experiencing anxiety, depression and burnout.

As the data suggesting COVID-19 is leading to potentially severe mental health challenges for many people continue to grow, employers are stepping up to offer more support for their workers.

More than a third of surveyed Americans (37%) have reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression during the pandemic—a 235% increase from 2019, according to an analysis of data from the Household Pulse Survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau from April to October.

Online Therapy Directory analyzed 1.3 million responses to a survey asking whether respondents had experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression,

Young people are experiencing the most struggles with mental health, with nearly half of those aged 18 to 29 reporting symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, the survey found.

“Mental health awareness has come to the forefront in 2020. We’re confident Spring Health will be a leading mental health solution for employers with its clinically-proven technology and world-class providers,” said Scott Shleifer, partner of Tiger Global.

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“Breaking down barriers and delivering effective mental healthcare to employees should be a top priority for companies in all industries. We’re impressed by Spring Health’s capability to deliver personalized solutions for each individual," Shleifer said.

Spring Health has proven to be essential with the workforce going through increasing pressure amidst a global pandemic, said Pär-Jörgen Pärson, general partner at Northzone.

"We've been impressed by the clarity of vision and speed of execution by April, Adam, and their team since we’ve invested in their series A in January 2020. The company is poised to become a substantive and transformative healthcare tech company."

Responding to the rising demand for services, Spring Health has tripled its headcount. The company also launched its capabilities globally, making mental health care accessible to individuals in over 200 regions. Additionally, Spring Health expanded to offer full EAP services, enabling employers to fully replace their EAPs with Spring Health’s comprehensive solution.