This morning Sprout, a tech-enabled autism care and treatment program, launched its service on the back of $10 million in seed funding from institutional investors General Catalyst, Bling Capital and Felicis Ventures.
WHAT THEY DO
Sprout's approach combines prompt in-home assessments and applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy from a live therapist with a tech platform that delivers ongoing telehealth sessions. Additionally, families have access to a range of other supporting materials, such as treatment-plan progress tracking, educational resources, and care-coordination tools. The service recruits therapists into its ranks with promises to handle "bureaucratic insurance companies and scheduling" on their behalf.
“Today’s outdated autism care model severely underserves children and families by deprioritizing those unable to pay in cash for an evaluation from a child psychologist,” Yury Yakubchyk, CEO and cofounder of Sprout, said in a statement. “We at Sprout inherently disagree with today’s inefficient norm and are committed to bridging the socioeconomic gap in autism care, ensuring the 1.5 million autistic kiddos in the U.S. quickly receive the therapist access needed to succeed.”
The platform is now available across the U.S. The company said it accepts all major payment forms and insurance, and noted that it will work with payers directly to develop "financially stable treatment plans regardless of [families'] coverage."
WHAT IT'S FOR
Although Sprout did not outline specific plans for its seed funding in the announcement, the raise would presumably help support the launch of its integrated autism treatment platform.
While Sprout looks to stand out by marrying its more traditional in-person care with supporting technologies, there are other startups targeting children with autism that lean more heavily on apps, virtual reality or other technologies to deliver their benefits.
Floreo, for instance, uses a VR headset to provide social skills lessons and track progress. Similarly, children's health and development tracking startup Cognoa licensed Google Glass-based technology from Stanford University that is designed to encourage facial engagement skills in children with autism. And Akili Interactive, the digital therapeutics-maker best known for its pediatric ADHD video game product, also lists an autism spectrum disorder treatment in the piloting phase on its product pipeline.