Demand for mental health services has soared since the start of the pandemic and along with it, the cost to employers. Octave, a behavioral health-care provider, recently announced that it has secured $52 million in funding – led by Cigna, Novo Holdings and Avidity Partners – as it seeks to expand access and reduce costs.

"The demand for mental health services is higher than ever, but our mission is not just to ensure that care is accessible but actually effective for the patient and sustainable for the mental health provider," said Sandeep Acharya, the company's cofounder and CEO. "With this raise, we're aiming to move beyond directly facilitating care, to trying to influence how the whole system functions — how care is paid for, how it is found and the tools we use to support it."

Octave, which was founded in 2018, currently serves 18 million people in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington, D.C. Services include adult individual, couple and family therapy. It started as a clinic-based company but now operates hybrid care with virtual and in-person services. It works with both employed and contracted therapists. The new funding will accelerate expansion to more regions later this year and to all 50 states in 2024, as well as the release of new technology products to serve payer and provider partners. This latest round of investment brings the company's total funding to $86 million.

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