Talkspace Raises $50M to Expand Access to Telemedicine for Behavioral Health

The company aims to make therapy more available and affordable.

Photo/Thumb have been modified. Courtesy of Michael Hession.

Talkspace, a telemedicine company focused on behavioral health, today announced a $50 million Series D funding round to expand access to its mental health services.

The company also plans to use the funds to improve quality of care through its national network of more than 5,000 healthcare providers, using artificial intelligence (AI) to boost its work. The financing could accelerate the growth of Talkspace’s commercial business, where it partners with employers, health plans and educational organizations to bring mental health services to patients.

“Affordable, convenient and high-quality care is a critical need for tens of millions of Americans, and our partnership will help ensure that treatment can be available at the click of a button,” said Patrick Conroy, a new member of Talkspace’s board of directors and principal at Revolution Growth, which led the funding round.

The round closed as Talkspace launched a partnership with Optum’s behavioral health business.

Talkspace wants to leverage the investment to develop capabilities in international markets and define new standards of therapeutic quality through machine learning and AI.

“Our advanced capabilities in data science enable us to not only open access to therapy, but also identify the attributes of successful therapeutic relationships and apply that knowledge throughout the predictive products we build, to the therapists that use our platform and in the content we provide,” said Oren Frank, co-founder and CEO of Talkspace.

Along with its partnership with Opum, Talkspace also provides services to employees through relationships with Aetna, New Directions Behavioral Health and Magellan Health.Talkspace said it covers more than five million patients through those deals.

Lynn Hamilton, chief commercial officer of Talkspace, said that with all of Talkspace’s relationships, millions of members might benefit from access to its services through managed behavioral healthcare.

To get started with Talkspace, a user chats with a therapist who will identify the patient’s needs. The user will then choose a payment plan that fits their budget, starting at $49 per week. Once matched, the user can start messaging with their primary therapist anytime and anywhere.

In addition to psychotherapy, Talkspace provides psychiatry services, including prescription fulfillment, adolescent therapy and couples counseling.

Additional investors included Norwest Venture Partners, Qumra Capital, Spark Capital and Compound Ventures.

With the latest funding, the company has raised a total of $110 million since its inception in 2012.

Digital health therapeutics supporting access to mental health have seen plenty of funding this year, with $986 million worth of investments in the first quarter of 2019. Meru Health, for instance, recently secured $4.2 million for its licensed and clinician-supported, phone-based digital program for anxiety and depression.

These programs have the potential to benefit rural populations by improving access to care.

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