Mental health care access and affordability continue to be two factors that prevent patients from seeking care. But Headway is out to change that.
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The New York-based startup, founded by Andrew Adams and Kevin Chan in 2019, is developing a health insurance advisory platform designed to connect patients with therapists, as well as providing administrative support to therapists who don’t typically accept insurance.
Adams knows about the difficulty of finding a therapist after moving from California to New York, which was a driver for starting Headway. He found that one in four people have treatable mental health issues, but because of the price and the fact that 70 percent of therapists don’t accept insurance, they don’t often seek care.
“We are creating a new mental health system that is rewired around software for affordability,” Adams told Crunchbase News. “Insurance administration complexities are built for medical, not one-person practices, so many therapists do not want to take on the burden of accepting insurance.”
Rather, Headway’s platform enables accepting insurance from patients easier so that therapists can grow their business, he added.
Headway closed on a $32 million Series B, led by Thrive, GV and Accel and a group of founders from One Medical, Flatiron Health and Clover Health. The company previously raised a $26 million Series A and $4.5 million seed, Adams said.
Mental health is a driver for all health care, so the market of behavioral health could eventually be a trillion-dollar market, Adams said. And, from an economic perspective, behavioral health costs more to treat because the person may not have regular checkups or take their medication.
“Headway isn’t just mental health. We treat diabetes and cancer because we treat depression for those folks, which helps them to take their oral oncology treatment and their insulin,” he added. “It leads to downstream impacts.”
The company is also in a market that is gaining attention from investors. We put together a list of global startups working in mental health and found 400 that received venture-backed funding within the past five years. In fact, investors pumped $8.6 billion into these companies during that time frame, according to Crunchbase data.
This year, we covered several companies in the mental health space that received funding, including:
Meanwhile, Headway is growing in its first market, New York, and is helping tens of thousands of people access therapists and quadrupled the number of therapists accepting insurance, Adams said. Within the market, the company is working with the City of New York and its Metropolitan Transit Authority employees.
The company aims to use the new funding to expand across the United States, gain traction with therapists and commercial insurers and to add to its 30-person workforce to meet all of the new demand.
“We plan to scale both the team and new geographies, while also partnering with insurance companies,” Adams added. “We hope this gives folks an opportunity to address their burning concerns and to solve their mental health access challenges.”
Feature photo of Andrew Adams, co-founder and CEO of Headway, courtesy of Headway
Blogroll illustration: Dom Guzman