Funding ‘Grow Therapy’ to get mental health covered by insurance

By Wayne Hu |

    Depression and anxiety rates are up 300% and demand for mental health services has grown 200% in just a few years since the start of the pandemic. Yet 55% of all US counties don’t have a licensed behavioral therapist. Mental health is clearly one of the most pressing issues for our healthcare system.

    Grow Therapy is tackling this crisis in two critical ways: Making therapy a more attractive profession, and getting therapy covered by insurance.

    Grow equips therapists with all the tools they need to launch their own practice: a virtual receptionist for scheduling, billing systems, telehealth infra, health records, and marketing help through Grow’s own site and featured placement on channel partner platforms. The ability to be one’s own boss, set one’s own hours, keep more of the revenue, and decide what conditions to focus on helps the therapy profession attract and retain better talent.

    Then, to make therapy affordable for everyone, Grow strikes partnerships with top payors and programs to get its therapists covered by insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. That’s how it’s quickly grown to over 3,000 providers who it helps serve over 10,000 new patients each month, and how it increased revenue 13X in the last year. After leading its Series A, we’re excited to back Grow Therapy’s $45M Series B led by our friends at TCV (plus $30M in debt funding).

    how GrowTherapy gets mental health covered by insurance

    Grow occupies arguably the most strategic position at the heart of the massive structural demand-supply imbalance for mental health services, which unfortunately will get worse before it gets better. It’s building the most robust practice enablement offering covering everything a therapist needs to get their practice off the ground. They are best positioned in the long run because they are building a much stickier and deeper relationship with therapists who run their entire practice through Grow.

    Moreover, they’re unlocking net new supply through a vertically integrated approach targeting therapists who have yet to start their own practice. The vertical integration also means Grow has a much greater ability to fundamentally improve the patient experience (for example allowing the company to collect more patient data, and transition to more acute care in a way that the other thinner aggregators can’t do). All of this in turn makes them the best mental health practice enablement platform for payors and the broader healthcare ecosystem.

    It’s a hugely disruptive value proposition that grows the market 10X to the vast majority of people who can’t afford to pay out of pocket for a hugely important service. I’ve had my own family life turned on its head during the pandemic from a relative’s mental health episode. I was born in Detroit and raised by an immigrant family from rural Taiwan, and had we still been in that kind of financial situation or job inflexibility, I have no idea what we would have done. Grow’s specific approach cuts to the core of that problem, as they are the only ones who have an economic model that allows them to accept Medicare/Medicaid (which the new practices that Grow is helping launch are happy to take, unlike existing practices).

    The Grow Therapy team is special. We’ve backed first-time and repeat founders including the creator/CEO of YouTube, the ex-CEO of Jawbone, the ex-President of Zynga, the ex-head of GoogleX Robotics, and the ex-VP of Engineering of Amazon. I can confidently say Jake and the Grow team are among the most thoughtful and fastest learning in our portfolio. They are execution machines, but are also genuinely kind and fun to be around.

    Grow Therapy founders (from left): Alan Ni, Jake Cooper, Manoj Kanagaraj

    The company is growing at an incredible pace, among the fastest and most efficient we’ve seen at their stage. Their competitive fundraise during a summer when the market for such growth rounds was effectively frozen is an indication of how much of an outlier they are. Grow Therapy is the kind of business that can endure and thrive in any market environment. Now it has the funding to address the most underserved health epidemic of our generation.


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