Finding the right therapist within a budget can be a challenge, but the founders of Advekit have created a match-making platform that also helps users understand and tap into their out-of-network benefits.
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Los Angeles-based Advekit told Crunchbase News that it has raised $2.6 million in seed funding, led by Moment Ventures, which is also its total raise since its inception in 2017. Clint Chao, general partner at Moment Ventures will also join Advekit’s board.
“Two of the hardest parts in one’s journey to get mental health treatment is finding the right help when you need it most and being able to afford the cost of treatment,” Chao said in a written statement. “Advekit employs technology in the most meaningful way to solve both of these challenges, and we’re really proud to invest in them and be a part of their journey.”
Solving pain points
Co-founders Alison LaSov, a licensed therapist, and Arielle Garellek were both passionate mental health advocates who recognized that visiting a therapist is not like going to the dentist twice a year, but it is a longer-standing relationship with a provider whom they also have to have a connection with.
“Arielle and I met through friends, and we knew we wanted to innovate in the mental health space,” LaSov said in an interview. “We understood the pain points and heard friction from patients.”
They saw an opportunity to create a platform that would both take the mystery out of finding a therapist and make working with one financially feasible. The platform asks users to answer 12 questions, then presents them with an explanation of the three best matches, LaSov said. In addition, the platform helps patients leverage their out-of-network insurance benefits in real time and only pay what they owe to the provider on Advekit’s platform.
Advekit is now operating in California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey and New York and has matched over 35,000 people with therapists.
Putting funds to work
Garellek said the new funding will go toward expanding into new markets and continuing to develop the platform.
“We aim to extend nationwide,” she said. “We are growing 30 percent month over month in our current markets, but we are seeing attraction in other markets and want to make sure we are growing in markets with patient demand. We also want to make the platform more seamless for patients and therapists.”
In addition, the company plans to grow its sales and marketing teams to bring in new therapists, as well as create innovative ways to market to patients, LaSov said.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic Advekit’s platform has experienced a 50 percent increase in the number of users looking for mental health support, she said.
Recognizing that many people sheltering in place need help in this area, many mental health startups have also attracted funding. Among those we reported on include SonderMind, which raised $27 million in April for its platform that helps consumers with mental health benefits.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias