It's no secret that there is a demand for behavioral health providers in the country right now, and Denver, Colorado-based SonderMind is ready to cash in. A digital network of behavioral health providers, the startup has just raked in $2.5 million in a seed funding round led by Kickstart Seed Fund, with investments from Purple Arch Ventures, SpringTime Ventures, Service Provider Capital, and Lanoha Ventures.
SonderMind was designed to help tackle the mental health services shortage by matching therapists with patients based on specific needs. The platform also makes sure that the provider is in the patient's insurance coverage network.
“The most important way we are changing how behavioral health providers are working is truly enabling them to be in private practice and focus on providing care, rather than running a business,” Mark Frank, CEO of SonderMind, wrote in an email to MobiHealthNews. “We are removing this 'either/or' decision that many therapists have to make regarding being in an employed setting versus private practice, as well as taking insurance clients versus only taking cash pay.”
For therapists, the platform provides an EHR system that includes a place for clinical notes, billing functionality, and a calendar and booking system. It also has profile pages and a directory for therapists, as well as an app with EHR functions. Through the platform, therapists are able to join social networks to collaborate and communicate.
On the patient side, the platform will match them with a provider within 48 hours and show them the clinician’s availability, allowing them to chose a convenient date and time.
For the startup's founders, the connection to behavioral health is personal. Cofounder Sean Boyd is a clinician and saw the opportunity to help health professionals better run their business, while Frank simply experienced the fustration of trying to get a clinician.
“I personally saw the need for improvement in the behavioral health system when my wife and I were looking for a provider and sought to use our insurance … this process proved to be almost impossible and the follow-on experience was terrible (although the actual clinical care was great),” Frank wrote. “On the opposite side of the coin, my younger sister is a therapist (and my cousins are a psychologist and psychiatrist), so I saw first-hand how difficult their professional path was and thought there could be a better way to address their needs, while simultaneously meeting the needs of clients/patients.”
The company was first founded in 2014 by Boyd and Frank. It now has over 300 therapists on the the software platform, 65 of whom are part of the SonderMind Provider Network and involved in the matching process, according to Frank. Over the next year the company plans on growing across Colorado and into other states.
The seed financing is expected to help the company introduce more technology options and improve the matching process.
“This funding will enable SonderMind to continue to improve both the patient and therapist experience, introduce a telehealth option, integrate more with primary care provider organizations, and improve our matching process to ensure the absolute best fit for a consumer seeking a therapist,” Frank wrote.