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InStride Health Raises $26M for Virtual Pediatric Behavioral Health Platform, Inks Deal with McLean Hospital

Boston-based InStride Health has launched with $26 million in new capital to expand its virtual pediatric behavioral health company. The launch comes as the spotlight on the mental health needs of children and young adults grows steadily brighter.

Valtrius, .406 Ventures and Mass General Brigham Ventures participated in this new funding round. The former, Valtrius, is the value-based care investment platform formed by PE giant Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) last August.

Founded in 2021, InStride Health is focused on providing virtual outpatient care for children and teens living with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Patients are able to access tailored programs that can include individual and group therapy, along with coaching and medication management.

InStride Health care teams include psychiatrists, therapists and coaches.

The company is launching during what many in the industry are calling a “pediatric mental health crisis.” In fact, in 2020, 5.6 million children – or nearly 1 out of every 10 kids – had been diagnosed with anxiety problems, according to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families.

Despite that dire need, only about 20% of pediatric patients with a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder receive specialized treatment from a mental health provider, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In addition to the funding, InStride Health is also announcing a partnership with Mass General Brigham’s McLean Hospital, a Massachusetts-based psychiatric hospital, to deliver care. The startup has its roots at McLean Hospital. The co-founders of InStride Health co-developed the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program (MAMP) at McLean.

“InStride’s strategic collaboration with McLean, distinguished by their excellence in clinical care, cutting-edge research, and clinical training, positions us to respond to an urgent need to provide effective and accessible care for children and adolescents with moderate to severe anxiety and OCD,” John Voith, chief executive officer and co-founder of InStride Health, said in a statement.

There are a number of digital health startups looking to help provide care to pediatric patients with behavioral health problems. For example, Brightline Health, which uses multidisciplinary care teams to deliver virtual behavioral health care to children and teens, announced a $10 million funding from Northwell Health in July. This brought the digital company’s total funding to $220 million.

Mightier, a Boston Children’s Hospital spinout, developed a gamified digital tool designed to help children regulate their emotions. The startup landed $17 million in Series B funding in 2021, bringing its total raise to roughly $29.3 million.

Mass General Brigham Ventures has been actively investing in the behavioral health space.

The hospital system’s venture arm lists Rippl, a new senior-focused, home-based behavioral health company, which recently emerged from stealth with $32 million, as one of its portfolio companies.

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