Health

Pediatric teletherapy provider DotCom Therapy raises $13M backed by LRVHealth, OSF Ventures

Pediatric teletherapy provider DotCom Therapy closed its series A funding, securing $13 million, the Madison, Wisconsin-based startup announced Thursday.

New Capital Partners led the funding round with participation from LRVHealth and OSF Ventures.

Along with the new capital, three executives will join DotCom Therapy’s board of directors: Will Cowen, general partner of LRVHealth, Stan Lynall, vice president of investments for OSF Ventures and James Outland, managing partner of New Capital Partners.

Founded in 2015 by trained speech-language pathologist Rachel Robinson, DotCom Therapy provides speech, behavioral, mental health and occupational therapy to children through its online, face-to-face platform, Zesh. The goal is to expand its teletherapy services with the funding to even more children as well as grow its partnerships with providers and healthcare payers.

The company has grown its headcount to more than 200 employees.

DotCom Therapy partners with school districts and health systems to carry out its teletherapy services.

RELATED: GV leads Brightline’s $72M boost to expand virtual therapy services for kids, teens

Robinson, now president of DotCom Therapy, started the company after realizing the lack of access children are facing across the country when it comes to making it to appointments and waitlists to see providers, particularly in rural areas.

Zipcode doesn’t matter when it comes to finding therapists for children in need, Robinson told Fierce Healthcare.

“I knew that tele-practice could solve a lot of these different access issues,” Robinson said.

Nearly one in five children have a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder such as anxiety or depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of that, only 20% receive care from a specialized mental health care provider.

 There’s a nationwide shortage of providers, and children are being diagnosed at a higher rate year over year.

Robinson’s idea started with a school district in Bethel, Alaska.

“I was able to experience firsthand, with a boots-on-the-ground approach, just how impactful and effective teletherapy was and how well kids responded to this type of service,” Robinson said.

Today, the provider is currently in 400 school districts and health systems across 38 states.

RELATED: Ginger’s digital mental health services are coming to members’ teenage dependents

DotCom Therapy is not alone is targeting the pediatric health space. There is a growing list of pediatric startups making inroads in the digital health market. Hazel Health operates virtual care clinics inside the school nurse’s office to connect students to a physician via telehealth and last year landed a $33 million funding round. Sprout, a tech-enabled autism care and treatment program, launched in July 2020 on the back of $10 million in seed funding.

Daybreak Health is another startup trying to tackle the gaps in mental health care for kids. The company launched in February 2020 and specializes in providing online counseling services, especially for teens.

Brightline recently scored $72 million to fuel the national expansion of its virtual behavioral health solution designed specifically to support children, teenagers, and their families. The Silicon Valley company has lined up notable venture capital and payer investors. GV (formerly Google Ventures) led Brightline’s series B round, with participation from new investors Optum Ventures and 7wireVentures.

On-demand mental health care startup Ginger also unveiled a new offering designed for users age 13 to 17. Called Ginger for Teens, the service resembles the startup’s primary platform with the inclusion of digital self-care materials, behavioral health coaching, therapy and psychiatry accessible through a smartphone app.

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