Cartwheel, a startup company that offers telehealth-based mental health services to school districts, has raised $20 million in a Series A funding.
Founded in 2022, Cartwheel serves more than 50 school systems across five states, including Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, and Rhode Island, supporting thousands of students, families, and school staff.
The funding round is led by Menlo Ventures. Reach Capital joined the round, as did earlier investors General Catalyst, BoxGroup and Able Partners. The funding will allow Cartwheel to expand mental health services to hundreds of thousands of new students in current service areas, as well as school districts in new states.
The founding team, including Chief Medical Officer Juliana Chen, M.D., a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist, had collectively spent decades working in schools and community mental health clinics and felt the need for stronger school-community partnership to improve accessibility, quality, and financial sustainability of mental healthcare.
When a school district partners with Cartwheel, school counselors can refer students for clinical mental health services with no waitlists, the company said. Cartwheel’s in-house team of licensed clinicians delivers evidence-based telehealth services, including 1-1 therapy, group therapy, parent guidance, and medication support – all as an in-network benefit covered by the family’s insurance. Operating year-round, Cartwheel allows students to see a licensed clinician at home or at school and during evenings, weekends, school breaks, and summers.
“As a district, we’re committed to supporting our students’ social-emotional and mental health to set them up for success—in the classroom and in life,” said Kimberly Huffer, director of social-emotional learning in Cambridge Public Schools, in a statement. “Cartwheel has been a game-changer for us, allowing our students and families to access evidence-based mental healthcare quickly. Cartwheel is collaborative and responsive to the needs of our students and families and empowers our social workers to have a true partner in the community.”
Cartwheel says it works with school staff and families to ensure the student is appropriately supported. A clinically licensed program manager supports school administrators on student cases, parent engagement, and staff training throughout the year; and bilingual care coordinators help families with scheduling, insurance, and referrals for additional services. Parents can also schedule weekly guidance sessions with a licensed clinician to discuss ways to support their child, even if their child isn’t interested in therapy themselves. Parents can also join educational workshops on timely mental health topics, ranging from school avoidance to social media use.