Mental health platform called “holistic,” Meru Health secures $38 million

It’s hardly surprising that Meru Health with an online mental health platform that is “holistic” saw a 10x increase in its customer base and a 700% increase in income in 2020 as a result of COVID’s requirement that individuals look for online solutions for all forms of healthcare, including mental health. The firm has also now revealed that it has raised $38 million in a Series B round of funding, increasing the total amount raised since its founding in 2016 to $51.3 million

The $30 million equity round was led by Industry Ventures. Debt was used to finance the final $8 million. Along with J.P. Morgan, the round’s initial funders Bold Capital Partners, Foundry Group, Freestyle VC, FMZ Ventures, and Leksell Social Ventures also contributed to the equity funding.

Meru Health currently collaborates with employers like Stanford University and several Fortune 100 and 500 companies, EAPs like Wellspring, and healthcare payers like Cigna, Humana, and Moda Health to offer an online mental healthcare programme, which the company claims has strong and long-lasting clinical results.

Meru Health overview

With what it characterises as an all-encompassing online mental health solution, Meru Health is a business that seeks to address a lot of the difficulties connected with obtaining access to high-quality mental health care. After his brother Peter attempted self-destruction in 2016, Kristian Ranta started the business in San Mateo, California. He believed that his brother might not have killed himself if he had access to better mental health care choices.

Ranta’s primary priority during the first two or three years of Meru Health’s existence was research to ascertain how effectively digital therapy and “old school” psychiatry were performing. He believed the available evidence to be weak.

The business came to the conclusion, among other things, that “technology is amazing, but without the human touch, it’s not going to get utilised.”

Or, to put it another way, solely app-based treatments for depression, anxiety, and burnout just won’t work.

By showing that the advantages of providing the programme to employees much outweigh the cost, the business has been able to convince companies to adopt its solution. The downstream healthcare expenses and decreased worker productivity of untreated anxiety and depression are so substantial, according to Meru, that the average cost savings for an employer for its programme is nearly $6,000 per registered participant.

Ranta told TechCrunch that it will be much tougher to keep people involved if there is no accountability or human connection and that people will eventually stop participating.

Meru Health’s strategy is intriguing since it seeks to be holistic, treating the body and mind simultaneously rather than concentrating on just one aspect.

For instance, talk therapy alone doesn’t address all mental health issues, as we’ve discovered, according to Ranta.

We discovered, for instance, that talk therapy alone does not address all mental health issues, Ranta added.

As Ranta puts it, “sleep is interconnected to mental wellness,” therefore it assists patients in getting better sleep and dietary advice.

He stated, “We still haven’t seen anyone else look at the relationship between food and mood.

Furthermore, it offers a wearable gadget to record physical biomarkers, allowing users to witness the results of actions like deep breathing and “learn to manage their own response to stress,” according to Ranta.

We’ve been incorporating these parts of more objective data collecting and also providing feedback for our patients since one of the issues with mental health grades is that there is simply a lot of self report, he told TechCrunch.

The all-encompassing strategy appears to be working, and Meru’s intentions with the money include expanding the number of states where it is fully covered by carriers.

We are expanding our network across the country and plan to be in 40 states by the end of the year, according to Ranta.

Naturally, the company intends to expand its approximately 170-person workforce.

Additionally, it plans to carry on with clinical trials and, in Ranta’s words, “conduct science right.”

He stated, “We conduct open sharing of information through trials with the top colleges and release all the outcomes freely. “We’re now demonstrating through study that this strategy has 3-5x higher clinical results than the standard of treatment in the U.S., and a roughly 80% completion rate, which contrasts to 30% to 50% in traditional therapy since we engage people considerably better,” the researchers write.

Industry Ventures Vice President Fanni Fan saw such involvement and stated that her company has been monitoring the mental health sector for years and is “seeking to back entrepreneurs utilising technology to improve access and quality of care in behavioural health.”

Conclusion

Meru Health with an online mental health platform called “holistic treating the body and mind simultaneously rather than concentrating on just one aspect. It has raised $38 million in a Series B round of funding to expand their network across the country and plan to be in 40 states by the end of the year.

Meru Health distinguished itself from its rivals in a number of ways, including with its “exceptionally high engagement and completion rates, strong clinical outcomes validated by long-term clinical studies, and three-month curriculum coupled with biofeedback that drive engagement and also enable payers to measure outcomes more easily.”

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