Ginger, the San Francisco-based behavioral health startup formerly known as Ginger.io, announced today a $50 million Series D funding round. Advance Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners headed the raise, which also saw participation from Cigna Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and LinkedIn Executive Chairman Jeff Weiner.
With this, the company said it has raised more than $120 million in lifetime funding.
WHAT THEY DO
Ginger was founded in 2011 as a passive behavioral health monitoring platform that would sell its artificial intelligence technology to hospitals and other healthcare organizations.
In more recent years, the company decided to begin delivering its own anxiety and depression care services. These include on-demand behavioral health coaching, video therapy and self-guided activities – all of which are measured and personalized using the company's underlying data platform.
Ginger said its services are accessible to millions of people through partnerships with more than 200 employers, health plans and other strategic partners.
WHAT IT'S FOR
While Ginger did not highlight a specific use for the new funds in its announcement, the company did highlight "skyrocketing demand" for flexible anxiety and depression care among U.S. workers. In July, for instance, Ginger said its weekly utilization rates for coaching and therapy/psychiatry were 125% and 265% higher, respectively, than pre-COVID-19 rates.
"Our mental healthcare system has long been inadequate. But in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and a tumultuous sociopolitical climate, we're facing uncharted territory," Russell Glass, CEO of Ginger, said in a statement. "People are demanding better care, and the largest payers of healthcare are recognizing the need to respond. Ginger is uniquely able to reverse the course of this crisis at scale. With this investment, we can accelerate our work to deliver incredible mental healthcare at a fraction of the cost to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who deserve it.”
Depression, anxiety and other behavioral health issues have been a pressing concern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so it's little surprise to see new activity among those providing this type of care remotely and at scale.
Hims and Heal have both dipped into tele-psychiatry offerings within their virtual care platforms, while UnitedHealth Group's Optum has reportedly been pushing forward with a big-ticket acquisition of virtual behavioral care company AbleTo. Funding announcements in this area have also cropped up over the past few months, with new rounds landing among mental telehealth providers like Mindler and Tava, and wellness app makers like Headspace and Big Health.
ON THE RECORD
“[Advance Venture Partners] invests in companies that are using technology to tackle large-scale, global challenges and transform traditional businesses and business models,” David ibnAle, founding partner of Advance Venture Partners. “Ginger is doing just that. We are excited to partner with an exceptional team to help make high-quality, on-demand mental healthcare a reality for millions more people around the world.”