Venture capital is backing more deals for mental health and wellness-based startups — and the deals are getting bigger.
That’s according to CBInsights, which reports that since 2012, the majority of such deals for mental health technology startups have been have been early-stage (seed/angel and Series A) rounds. But with the growing maturity of the mental health and wellness sector, VCs are starting to back bigger Series A and B rounds more frequently.
The $40 million Series B to Quartet Health in the second quarter of 2016 is the largest VC-backed mental health tech deal since 2012, and VCs participating included Google Ventures, OAK HC/FT Partners, Polaris Partners and F-Prime Capital. The next largest deal was a $37 million Series B for Headspace, from Spectrum Equity Investors in the second quarter of 2017. Next was a $35 million Series A for Lyra Health in the fourth quarter of 2015; backers for that deal included Castlight Health, Breyer Capital, Greylock Partners, Providence Ventures and Venrock.
Seed/angel rounds historically account for more than 40 percent of deal flow each year; so far this year, they represent 52 percent of all deals. A few recent $2.5 million-plus deals include those to online addiction recovery platform Workit Health, meditation app Simple Habit and daily motivational text messaging service Shine.
This year, Series A rounds account for 30 percent of mental health tech deals, while Series B rounds have also been on the rise. They grew to 23 percent last year, from almost none prior to 2014, and the largest Series B deal to date this year was for $37 million to Headspace.
Series C still has a way to go, making up just 8 percent or less of all deals in any year since 2013. According to the report, this is largely because of the immaturity of the sector, but as companies grow and look for later-stage financing, that’s likely to change.