Behavioral health startup Ginger (formerly Ginger.io) scored $35 million in Series C funding, bringing the San Francisco-based startup's total funding to $63 million. The new infusion of cash was led by WP Global Partners with participation from City Light Capital, Nimble Ventures, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Khosla Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Kapor Capital.
WHAT THEY DO
Ginger focuses on providing digital mental health services including behavior health coaching, video therapy, tele-psychiatry visits and other self-guided content. It specifically targets those dealing with anxiety and depression. The platform offers human-to-human support as well as technology-enabled insights.
The company partners with employer organizations to provide the services to their employees.
Ginger got its start as a passive monitoring company that sold its artificial intelligence technology to hospitals, but it reinvented itself in 2017 as a healthcare provider in its own right, offering a full service online and app-based mental health services.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The startup said the new money will go toward growing its data sciences and clinical services. It is planning to expand globally within the next two years.
Mental health apps are on the rise in digital health, as is funding news for these startups. For example: Talkspace landed $50 million in May; Finnish company Meru Health scored $4.2 million in seed funding in April; and Quartet Health, which focuses on behavioral health and primary care, raked in $60 million in June.
In a Nature Digital Medicine study, researchers found 1,435 mental health apps available in the app stores. Those apps vary from meditation and mindfulness platforms to telehealth platforms with a clinician on the other end. While mental health apps are on the rise, stakeholders have been quick to point out that many lack validation. That same study found that a majority of the apps studied do not provide evidence or peer-reviewed studies to back up their products.
Ginger has gone the case study route, publishing a number of these on their websites, as well as its consumer surveys.
ON THE RECORD
“We have significant experience investing in healthcare and believe that technology is the key to solving the global mental health crisis,” Donald Phillips, chairman and CEO of WP Global Partners, said in a statement. “As we looked to expand our portfolio, it became clear to us that there is no other company in the world that provides emotional and mental health support as quickly and effectively as Ginger does.”