News & Analysis

driven by the PitchBook Platform

Talkspace and other startups are raising VC millions for mental health

As Mental Health Awareness Month in the US winds down, one of the sector’s more prominent startups is bringing in more cash.

As Mental Health Awareness Month in the US winds down, one of the sector’s more prominent startups is bringing in more cash. Talkspace has raised $50 million in a round led by Revolution Growth to continue building its telehealth offerings, with participation from a group of existing investors that includes Norwest Venture Partners, Qumra Capital, Spark Capital and Compound Ventures.

The Series D is Talkspace’s first new funding since 2017, when the company brought in $31 million at a $130 million valuation. Based in the Big Apple, Talkspace operates a platform that connects customers to licensed therapists, with patients able to communicate with those therapists in various forms—including audio, text and video messages—at any time.

As cultural awareness around the importance of mental health has continued to spread, more and more startups have begun sprouting up seeking to lend a hand—and to build a business and make some money along the way. Here’s a quick look at a few of the others that have drawn VC backing:


Perhaps the most peaceful unicorn in the VC world’s ever-growing herd, Calm is a meditation startup that raised $88 million in February at a $1 billion valuation. That was up from the $258 million valuation the San Francisco company attained in June 2018, a major increase in less than eight months. Calm makes an app that guides users through meditation and other relaxation exercises; in 2017, Apple named the product its iPhone app of the year.


A competitor of Calm (and not to be confused with the similarly named Talkspace), Headspace is the developer of another meditation app focused on improving mindfulness and sleep while reducing stress. Backed by a long list of VCs and angels that includes names like Breyer Capital and Jessica Alba, the Santa Monica, CA-based business last raised funding in 2017, bringing in just over $37 million at a $317 million valuation.

Doctor On Demand

The San Francisco-based startup is similar to Talkspace, offering a telehealth platform that connects patients with mental health professionals and other doctors. Doctor On Demand has raised about $165 million in VC funding, including a $74 million Series C in April 2018 that came with a $299 million valuation. Its backers include Shasta Ventures, Venrock and Tenaya Capital.

Lyra Health

Lyra Health is another business using software to transform the way patients seek care, operating a data-powered platform that connects users with therapists. Its clients include businesses who use Lyra Health’s software to offer better mental healthcare to their employees. Headquartered in Burlingame, CA, the startup announced a $45 million Series B last May, while an SEC filing from December indicated the funding had grown to more than $61 million.


Maven is another provider of a platform for connecting patients with doctors and fostering better communication between the two. It’s different from Talkspace in some major ways, though, such as the fact that Maven’s services are catered to women. And access to mental healthcare providers is just one of its offerings, along with doctors focused on fertility, pregnancy and much more. The New York startup raised $27 million in VC last September at an $87 million valuation.

Featured image via Feodora Chiosea/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Join the more than 1.5 million industry professionals who get our daily newsletter!