Behind the Investment: Alma – Empowering Providers to Deliver Accessible Mental Health Care
Mental health is a massive, fragmented space that can be extremely difficult to navigate. For patients, taking even the first steps toward finding care can feel onerous. For providers, piecing together the tools and network to run successful practices is an ongoing challenge.
These pain points were more intensely felt than ever before, as 2020 was a year that saw a spike in unaddressed mental health concerns. Providers, themselves small business owners, pressed on despite unprecedented economic turmoil and uncertainty. They adapted their practices overnight to ensure continued care for patients, adding virtual care functionality, self-training to better meet patient needs, and caring for their own mental and economic well-being. All the while, more and more individuals were seeking care. For many, navigating insurance to find care was confusing and difficult; affordability was another obstacle standing between patients and good mental health care.
For its ability to execute on its mission of providing high-quality, affordable healthcare, Alma stood out. Alma’s success through 2020 and the opportunity around mental health certainly got us excited as investors; most importantly, the flywheel Alma has built out around benefitting providers, patients, and payors alike foreshadows incredible growth through fundamentally improving a fragmented and difficult-to-navigate mental health care system.
Specifically, Alma has created a network of mental health care providers that empowers members with all the tools they need to run a private practice: high-quality client-matching, a membership directory, and tools for scheduling, billing, and insurance contracting. On the consumer side, Alma’s easy-to-navigate matching and directory make it easy to match with in-network providers that deliver high quality, affordable care.
Insight has followed the mental health care space for many years now— since our Series A in Calm, a B2C approach to promoting mental health through meditation, we’ve closely followed technology companies promoting mental health through therapy. We first met Alma’s CEO Harry Ritter, MD (and JD), this past August 2020. Having spent time at McKinsey and Oscar Insurance, Harry had been thinking through the broken mental health care delivery system for many years. Since founding Alma in 2017, Harry has built out a world-class team, united by a mission to simplify access to mental health care.
We are excited to be leading Alma’s Series B, with participation from new investor Optum Ventures, and existing investors Tusk Venture Partners, Primary Venture Partners, Sound Ventures, BoxGroup and Rainfall Ventures. Providers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are currently using Alma. With further geographical expansion on the 2021 horizon, we are excited to support Alma as they expand nation-wide.