Meru Health Raises $38M to Expand Digital Mental Health Treatment

Sept. 27, 2021
Funding to accelerate Meru expansion, broaden efforts to partner with payers and employers, and expand access to a new coaching solution

Meru Health, which provides online mental health solution for depression, burnout and anxiety, has raised a $38 million Series B funding round to fuel its expansion efforts.

Based in Helsinki, Finland, and San Mateo, Calif., Meru offers a complete and clinically proven treatment program for depression, anxiety, and burnout.

The company’s Series A financing was led by Foundry Group along with partner fund, Freestyle, which led the company’s previous financing. They were joined by Bold Capital Partners and Slack Fund, and existing investor, Y Combinator, among others.

A Foundry Group blog post at the time noted that Meru had partnered with insurance companies and self-insured employers such as Aurora Public Schools, John Muir Medical Corp., and Douglas County in Colorado to offer the Meru program to their customers and employees. 

Meru’s online solution provides patients with remote therapists and psychiatrists, anonymous peer-groups, biofeedback wearable, and a 12-week digital therapeutic treatment program, the Foundry Group post noted. “Meru’s program consists of continuous remote clinician support, at-home therapeutic lessons and practices (e.g. cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, and mindfulness), as well as sleep medicine and nutritional psychiatry for a complete solution to healing depression and anxiety.”

The new funding round is led by Industry Ventures. Additional investors in the round include early backers Bold Capital Partners, Freestyle VC, FMZ Ventures and Leksell Social Ventures along with financing provided by J.P. Morgan. The new funding, a mix of equity and debt, will be used to accelerate Meru Health’s U.S. nationwide expansion, broaden efforts to partner with healthcare payers and employers, and to expand access to a new coaching solution – intended to help people with early signs of depression, burnout or anxiety keep those symptoms from worsening, the company said.

Meru Health works with employers such as Stanford University and several Fortune 100 and 500 companies, employee assistance programs such as Wellspring and healthcare payers such as Cigna, Humana and Moda Health to provide an online mental healthcare program.

Meru Health’s treatment program can be accessed via a smartphone app. The company says each participant is supported by a personal, licensed therapist who guides them through the 12-week app-based program where they learn behavioral practices, mindfulness, biofeedback practices and habit-changing activities for sleep, nutrition and more to help decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. After the initial 12 weeks, participants access digital content and get to use the wearable biofeedback device for the next 9 months. 

Meru Health was born from its founder’s own experience. Several years ago, CEO and founder Kristian Ranta’s older brother Peter lost his battle with depression and took his own life. A computer scientist by background, Ranta was frustrated with the state of mental healthcare: the lack of availability of mental health providers, and low effectiveness and inconsistency of care. Meru Health was launched in 2018, and the company’s customer base grew by a factor of 10 in 2020. Meru Health continues to see strong growth in 2021 and beyond. 

“I can’t emphasize enough that we are in a mental health crisis right now,” said Ranta, in a statement. “COVID-19 has left tens of millions of depressed and anxious people in its wake, and without effective treatment, the outcome could be tragic. Solutions like Meru Health are essential to bringing those people back to a fully functioning state where they feel empowered to take care of their own mental health. We’re incredibly proud of the work we’re doing.” 

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