Ginger, an on-demand mental healthcare services provider, has raised a sum of USD 50 million in a new round of funding.
The new capital comes as wellness has emerged as an area of interest for investors in new technology and healthcare services companies and as an investment in mental health.
As per market records, mental health startups have witnessed as record jump in volumes in the second quarter of 2020 over the rising demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per market reports the company has seen record-high demand for mental health support during the current health crisis. During July, weekly utilization rates were 125 percent higher for coaching and 265 percent higher for therapy and psychiatry when compared to pre-COVID-19 averages.
More than 55 companies raised rounds of funding over the quarter, even though deal amounts declined 15 percent, to USD 491 million. That’s still almost half a billion dollars invested into mental health in one quarter alone.
Ginger services help patients have access with a care coordinator. The care coordinator is a trained behavioral health coach — likely someone who has a master’s degree in psychology with a behavioral health coaching certificate from prestigious schools like UCLA, Michigan Duke or Columbia and also 200 hours of training at the Ginger office.
The company’s chief executive officer, Russell Glass says, “These health coaches provide the majority of care to Ginger patients. For very serious conditions, Ginger helps by bringing in specialists to coordinate care and helps patients access to medications.”
The company charges companies a fee for access to its services on a per-employee, per-month basis, and provides access to mental health services to hundreds of thousands of employees through corporate benefit plans,” Glass said.
He added, “Our entire mission here is to break the supply/demand imbalance and provide far more care. Ultimately we want Ginger to be available to help anybody who has a need. Being accessible to anybody, anywhere, is an important part of the strategy. That means direct-to-consumer will be a direction we head in.”
He also said, “There’s a huge and growing need to address the mental health supply-demand imbalance and that has accelerated massively. There are so many people these days who need access to behavioral health services.”
Ginger raised the latest funding round to expand its on-demand mental healthcare system to help address these needs. Ginger plans to focus on R&D and innovation to provide its clinicians and psychiatrists with better decision support tools and other capabilities.
With its funding round, Ginger is adding David ibnAle, a founding partner at Advance Venture Partners (AVP), which is the investment firm behind S.I. Newhouse’s family-owned media and technology holding company, Advance; and the digital health investment guru Steve Kraus from Bessemer Venture Partners.
Over 200 companies like Delta Air Lines, Domino’s, Sanofi, Cheg, SurveyMonkey, and Sephora pay Ginger to provide their employees with high-quality mental healthcare. Ginger members are allowed to access virtual therapy and psychiatry sessions as an in-network benefit through the company’s relationships with leading health plans like Optum Behavioral Health, Anthem California and Aetna Resources for Living.
Ginger was founded in 2011 as a spinout from the MIT Media Lab to provide on-demand mental health services. The company evolved to become a virtual behavioral health care system and offers full-service online and app-based mental health services.
Ginger began offering its on-demand care services in 2016. Today, Ginger has reached over 650,000 members around the world in 23 countries through its partnerships with employers and health plans.