LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SpectrumAi, a digital health company that develops innovative solutions in the autism space, today announced its $9 million funding round co-led by F-Prime Capital and Frist Cressey Ventures, with an additional investment from Autism Impact Fund. SpectrumAi’s technology aims to improve the quality of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, the only treatment currently covered for autism despite a lack of data transparency and objectivity.
“When used properly, ABA therapy can have a significant positive impact on a child’s life and their family; utilized poorly, ABA can actually be harmful. The unfortunate reality is that there are no universally accepted objective data standards to evaluate outcomes and improve quality of care,” said Ling Shao, Founder and CEO of SpectrumAi. “As a parent of four autistic sons, I know the challenges of autism and have witnessed the power of excellence in ABA therapy. However, I also understand the quality of care varies dramatically. SpectrumAi seeks to address this issue by bringing outcomes clarity and measurement to the highly subjective and fragmented ABA space.”
SpectrumAi’s technology captures objective quality and outcomes data to improve care for individuals and at a population level, enabling ABA to move to a value-based contracting model. Metrics collected through SpectrumAi’s technology will allow for more productive conversations between providers, payors, parents and the neurodiverse community. The data will provide additional insights into the care needs of females and minorities with autism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism prevalence in the United States has risen significantly in recent years, from 1-in-150 in 2000 to 1-in-44 in 2022. Diagnosis rates among female and minority populations continue to lag, but novel telepsychiatry and automated diagnostic solutions are beginning to bridge the diagnosis gap.
While the U.S. is the global leader in ABA therapy, critical provider shortages still exist nationally, with more than half of all U.S. counties registering zero supervisory Board-certified Behavior Analysts, and 49 states not reaching the per capita benchmark supply of certified ABA providers. All 50 states now mandate ABA coverage for up to 40 hours per week which has led to private equity- and venture capital-backed ABA organization consolidation and growth to meet consumer demand that massively outpaces the current supply 10-to-1.
“SpectrumAi is uniquely positioned, and now well-capitalized, to progress ABA therapy to address a major unmet need in autism care,” said Carl Byers, Partner, F-Prime Capital. “We look forward to supporting Ling Shao and the rest of their team as they advance the company into the next phase.”
“Autism advocates and parents have made enormous strides to get all 50 states to mandate coverage of ABA therapy,” said former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., co-founder of Frist Cressey Ventures. “But when we took a closer look, few investments have placed a primary focus on quality. The emphasis on quality is the key to better outcomes for families and a chance for autistic children to grow into their full potential.”
“As the investment and innovation arm of the autism community, Autism Impact Fund believes strongly in SpectrumAi’s model, which will lead to improved outcomes through disruptive technology and value based care,” said Chris Male, Autism Impact Fund’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner.
“Families, employers and health plans are all frustrated about the quality differential in ABA treatments. We are all willing to pay but would like to get high-quality care in the process, said Kent Marquardt, an individual investor in SpectrumAi, and former CFO of Premera Blue Cross. “Quality measures do not currently exist in the industry and there is a significant need to evolve towards a pay for quality or pay for value methodology.”
Along with Ling Shao, SpectrumAi has assembled a team of proven healthcare leaders including:
- Co-founder Elizabeth Bigham as Chief Operating Officer
- Co-founder Chris Storer as Chief Marketing Officer
- Liz Hevenstone as Chief Commercial Officer
- Carl Byers, Partner at F-Prime Capital, as a board member
- Navid Farzad, Partner at Frist Cressey Ventures, as a board member
- Jennifer Kuhn, Chief Network Officer for Anthem, Inc., as a board member
SpectrumAi is modernizing and democratizing access to high-quality Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for autisic children by capturing and measuring objective treatment and outcomes data to understand quality drivers.
For more information, please visit www.spectrumai.com.
About F-Prime Capital
F-Prime Capital is a global venture capital firm investing in healthcare and technology. For the past 50 years, our venture capital group has had the privilege of backing great entrepreneurs building groundbreaking companies.
With over $3 billion dollars under management and a global portfolio of more than 200 companies, we champion those dedicated to creating positive change in the world. In healthcare, we focus on therapeutics, medtech and health IT & services in a stage-agnostic fashion. Our healthcare fund has created or co-created 25 companies including Denali, Beam, Innovent, Orchard and Sana and has helped build many others including Blueprint Medicines, Iora Health, PatientPing, Devoted and Ultragenyx. F-Prime portfolio companies have seen more than 28 products and drugs approved by regulatory agencies worldwide. Our team of investors, engineers, doctors and scientists is committed to bringing the insight, domain expertise and relationships required to help our companies make a transformational impact.
For more information, please visit www.fprimecapital.com.
About Frist Cressey Ventures
At Frist Cressey Ventures, our mission is focused on accelerating the growth of high potential healthcare enterprises through value-added partnerships. We invest in technology and service businesses with viable solutions that improve quality of care, system integration, patient outcomes, and population health and well-being. We join like-minded entrepreneurs who share similar core values in their pursuit to improve healthcare.
For more information, please visit www.fcventures.com.
About The Autism Impact Fund
The Autism Impact Fund (AIF) seeks to become the investment and innovation arm of the autism community. AIF's mission is to revolutionize the status quo for diagnosing, treating and living with autism. Through a venture capital model, AIF accelerates the development and delivery of emerging technologies, translational science and innovative services to empower individuals to reach their full potential.
For more information, please visit http://www.autismimpact.fund.