The virtual care startup will also look to accept additional health insurance carriers going forward.
Mantra Health, a startup providing virtual mental healthcare services to higher education, has closed a $2 million extension to the $3.2 million in seed funding it disclosed late last year, MobiHealthNews has learned.
The startup’s newest backers include Canaan Partners, City Light Capital and Baleon Capital, as well as Aligned Telehealth founder Dr. Nitin Nanda as a strategic angel investor.
Launched in 2018, Mantra bolsters colleges and universities’ on-campus health resources with a “closed-loop” virtual mental health offering that aims to ensure continued support and follow-up. It consists of a telehealth app students use for text or video conversations with Mantra’s affiliated provider group, a collaboration portal that campus health staff uses to monitor and refer students, and a proprietary EHR system that the company uses to track care across virtual visits and referrals.
The company has seen some growth since announcing its initial funding and gained new partners in November. Its offerings are now available to 180,000 students on 28 campuses. Its affiliated provider group has ramped up as well, the company said, growing threefold since November, with 50% of its current staff identifying as people of color or specializing in the treatment of LGBTQ+ students to increase access to care for those demographics.
“Mantra Health is leading the way in bringing high-quality, digitally-enabled mental health services to universities and colleges,” Byron Ling, partner at Canaan, told MobiHealthNews in an email statement.
“With an innovative collaborative-care model that is underpinned by world-class technology, providers can spend more time focused on providing students with best-in-class care in conjunction with university counseling centers. We are excited to partner with the Mantra Health team as they build a category-leading behavioral health solution for young adults.”
Mantra said that the new funds would help the company accept health insurance from additional major carriers. Further, the money will support its service expansion into all 50 U.S. states and Washington in time for the fall semester.
“Our goal is to use the funding to fuel growth and meet the demand of universities. We’re hiring for key roles around commercialization and operations that’ll help bring Mantra to the next stage,” Edouard Gaussen, CEO and cofounder of Mantra Health, told MobiHealthNews in an email statement.
“The funding will also be used to hire providers licensed in all 50 states as we continue to expand our clinic.”
Telehealth companies, and particularly those seeking to address mental health, have been mindful of the synergies between their platforms and colleges and universities’ health-delivery needs. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual primary care offerings, like 98point6 or other tele-behavioural health vendors, like Teladoc subsidiary BetterHelp, have told MobiHealthNews that students’ tech-savvy and high-stress lifestyles present clear opportunities for convenient digital offerings.
Also active in the college telehealth space is TimelyMD, which works with the school’s student health facilities to deliver medical, mental health, psychiatry and health-coaching virtual visits. The company raised $60 million at the top of 2021, and said at the time it has a presence on 80 campuses.
With that being said, the last year has greatly ramped up market demand for digital or virtual behavioral health at large.
Major telehealth providers like Teladoc Health and Hims & Hers have upped their mental health offerings. Employee-targeted digital programs, like Modern Health, Happify Health and Ginger, have locked in substantial fundings. Consumer brands like Talkspace and Headspace have repeatedly hinted at increased uptake.