REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research from Telosity by Vinaj Ventures, a fund that invests in early-stage companies working to improve mental health and well-being in young people, has released its inaugural annual trends report, Investment Trends in Youth Mental Health Companies.
While the mental health of young people has been declining for over a decade, COVID-19 exacerbated the crisis. Meanwhile, traditional causes of youth mental health strife hold steady, such as poverty, abuse, violence, and bullying. According to the National Bullying Prevention Center, 1 in 5 students between the ages of 13 and 17 reports being bullied at school or online. Victims of bullying are more likely to experience mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
The increase in adolescents experiencing mental health conditions, coupled with the increase in adoption of telehealth for mental and behavioral health services during COVID-19, is fueling investment into technology-enabled, scalable solutions, designed and created for youth. The total increase in funding into youth mental health tech companies shows growing momentum to leverage technology to bridge gaps in access for mental health care.
Trends uncovered by the report include:
Funding in youth mental health skyrockets. Analyzing the investment picture for 2020 and the first six months into 2021, Telosity by Vinaj Ventures found funding in youth mental health startups in the first half of 2021 was 7.5 times greater than the funding allocated in the first half of 2020. Along with the enormous increase in the amount of money invested, the number of deals increased by an astounding 79%.
Investments are moving beyond teletherapy. There is also an increase in the number of deals in startups that offer services other than providing access to clinicians (for example, assessment services), which shows that startups are creating products and services that cater to a wide range of needs.
Later-stage companies are receiving more investments. In 2020, most investments focused on pre-seed, seed and Series A startups. This year, two startups beyond Series A received funding, which shows that the youth mental health market is gaining traction.
While the youth mental health tech market is still relatively nascent, the increase in later-stage funding in 1H 2021 shows early signs of this market beginning to mature.
“The increase in investment in youth mental health tech companies is a big boost for young people,” said Allyson Plosko, director of Telosity by Vinaj Ventures. “As we mention in the report, nearly half of children who need mental health support don’t get the care they need. We must do a better job of reaching kids in need. Technology-enabled solutions can offer a scalable way of delivering mental health support, especially for low-acuity patient populations, which is why we think investing in companies developing these solutions is a critical step to increasing access for young people.”
Future trends reports from Vinaj Ventures and Telosity will dive into innovation and corporate venture trends; startup trends in adolescent mental health; and innovation in digital well-being.
Read the complete Investment Trends in Youth Mental Health Companies report.
About Vinaj Ventures
Vinaj Ventures is an innovation and investment services firm working with corporations and philanthropic organizations. Our Investment Services specializes in market analysis, sourcing, and evaluating and investing in startups. For more information, please visit www.vinaj.com/
About Telosity by Vinaj Ventures
Telosity by Vinaj Ventures invests in and supports early-stage companies with affordable and scalable solutions to improve mental well-being in young people, especially in underserved communities. This includes fostering positive online experiences and interactions, bolstering social and emotional skills and positive behaviors, and increasing access to care and support. Portfolio companies include Daybreak Health, Flipd, Ksana Health, Manatee, Maslo, MindRight, MyLife, and Neolth. For more information, please visit www.telosity.co/