Startups addressing children's mental health needs that you should know

Steven Loeb · May 24, 2024 · Short URL:

They include Brightline, Hazel Health, InStride Health, Mantra Health, and Mightier

When it comes to mental health disorders in children, the stats are disheartening, with about 1 in 6 children aged 6 to 17 in the U.S. experiencing a mental health disorder each year. Worldwide, the percentage of children who may have a mental health condition is 20%.​ 

The most common mental health disorders in children are anxiety disorders, which affect 7.1% of children aged 3 to 17; behavior disorders, such as ADHD, which affect 7.4%; and depression, which affects 3.2% of children aged 3 to 17.

All of this obviously has a major impact on a child's ability to learn, as mental health disorders can significantly affect school performance. For instance, students with anxiety and depression may have lower grades than their peers. Not to mention that children with ADHD are more likely to repeat a grade.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many of these already existing issues with young people were disproportionately affected, with an increase in suicides, particularly those aged 15 to 24, who saw their suicide rate rise by 8% year-to-year; the sharpest increase came among females aged 10 to 14, who saw their suicide rate increase by 15%. In addition, close to 30% of all hospital admissions in 2020 for non-newborn children were for mental health issues, compared to just 8% for adults.

All of this is to say that's there's a critical need for increased awareness, better access to care, and effective interventions to address mental health issues among children. Thankfully, a number of companies have stepped up to the plate in recent years, putting a focus on the mental health needs of children, adolescents, and students.

These are some that have raised money in the last few years: Behavioral Therapy for Kids and Teens | Brightline

  • Description: "Whether it’s virtual therapy, psychiatry, or coaching — Brightline works with employers and major insurers nationwide to get your family affordable, accessible support. Chat with an expert within minutes and schedule a video visit within days."
  • Founded: 2019
  • Total Funding Raised $212 million
  • Last Funding Round: Series C, $115 million in March 2022
  • Investors: GV, KKR, Oak HC/FT, Threshold Ventures, Optum Ventures, 7wire Ventures, Gaingels, Silicon Valley Bank, Blue Shield of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, SemperVirens VC, City Light Capital, Debra Lee, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Rock Health Capital, Boston Children's Hospital​

Hazel Health

  • Description: "Hazel Health partners with schools and families to provide high-quality virtual physical and mental health care that helps students stay engaged in learning"
  • Founded: 2015
  • Funding Raised: $85 million 
  • Last Funding Round: Series C, $51 million in October 2022
  • Investors: Memorial Hermann Hospital, HLM Venture Partners, Fireworks Ventures, Hopelab, UCSF Foundation Investment Company, California HealthCare Foundation, Owl Ventures, Uprising Ventures, Carrie Penner, Tao Capital Partners, Children's Memorial Health Institute, Centene, Bain Capital Partners, University of California, San Francisco

InStride HealthInStride Health

  • Description: "InStride provides evidence-based care that works. We're helping kids, teens, and young adults get back on track more quickly, surrounding them with a dedicated multidisciplinary care team"
  • Founded: 2021
  • Funding Raised: $56 million
  • Last Funding Round: Series B, $30 million in March 2024
  • Investors: Valtruis, Mass General Brigham Ventures, Hopelab, General Catalyst, .406 Ventures

Mantra HeathMantra Health

  • Description: "Mantra Health partners with higher education institutions to provide students with comprehensive, high-quality mental health and wellness solutions"
  • Founded: 2018
  • Funding Raised: $34.2 million 
  • Last Funding Round: Series A, $5 million in March 2023
  • Investors: Global Founders Capital, Canaan Partners, Alumni Ventures, City Light Capital, VMG Partners, Baleon Capital, 14W, Elements Health Ventures, Western Investments Capital, Western Technology Investment, New Markets Venture Partners, HOF Capital



  • Description: "Mightier blends digital gaming with off-screen activities to teach coping skills through play"
  • Founded: 2015
  • Funding Raised: $29.3 million
  • Last Funding Round: Series B, $17 million in December 2021
  • Investors: Koa Labs, Sony Innovation Fund, DigiTx Partners, MassChallenge, Founder Collective, PBJ Capital, Slow Ventures, Bolt, Asset Management Ventures, Eastward Capital Partners, What If Ventures, Gutbrain Ventures, MBX Capital, Project 11 Ventures, Modern Times Group, National Institute of Mental Health, FundRx, FoxKiser 

Little Otter

  • Description: "Re-imagining kids’ mental health to support prevention, early identification, and treatment. Experience a comprehensive, personalized approach to online mental health care for children 0-14 and their families."
  • Founded: 2020
  • Total Funding Raised: $26.7 million
  • Last Funding Round: Series A, $22 million in January 2022
  • Investors: CRV, Torch Capital, BoxGroup, Sahin Boydas, Springbank Collective, G9 Ventures, Palumni VC, Hinsdale, Able Partners, Vast Ventures, Carrie Penner

Daybreak Health LogoDaybreak Health

  • Description: "Daybreak partners with districts and schools to provide personalized mental health support to help students reach their full potential.Our teletherapy programs are designed to give each student access to high-quality, affordable, and culturally competent care that meets their unique needs."
  • Founded: 2019
  • Funding Raised: $24.9 million
  • Last Funding Round: Series B, $13 million in August 2023
  • Investors: Maven Ventures, Y Combinator, Lightspeed Venture Partners, ASU+GSV Ventures, Lux Capital, Union Square Ventures, Rebel Fund, Open Opportunity Fund, Atacama Ventures, Deborah Quazzo, Vinaj and Telosity Ventures, JVMO, Alexi Robichaux, Brian Grey


  • Description: "Cartwheel is a trusted mental health partner to schools. We help kids and families get back on their feet when they’re struggling and help schools build Multi-Tiered Systems of Support to catch more kids before they fall"
  • Founded: 2022
  • Funding Raised: $20 million
  • Last Funding Round: Series A, $20 million in September 2023
  • Investors: Able Partners, Reach Capital, Menlo Ventures, General Catalyst, BoxGroup

Huddle Up (formerly Dotcom Therapy)

  • Description: "Huddle Up is the most comprehensive pediatric digital health company that supports the growth, development, and mental health of children and adolescents across the United States. By bringing together providers, families and educators, Huddle Up creates a circle of support around children and adolescents, transforming the care experience and enabling new levels of engagement and outcomes beyond traditional, in-person offerings. Technical innovation extends the high quality nationwide network of providers, enabling them through peer-to-peer interactions, specialty support and outcome driven personalization."
  • Founded: 2015
  • Funding Raised: $18.2 million
  • Last Funding Round: Series C, undisclosed amount in April 2024
  • Investors: New Capital Partners, OSF Ventures, HealthX Ventures, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, LRVHealth

Joon Care

  • Description: "All therapists at Joon specialize in working with the unique mental health needs of teens and young adults. Your therapist will personalize care to your specific needs while using a primarily evidence-based and skills-focused approach to help you or your child make the changes they want to make."
  • Founded: 2019
  • Funding Raised: $9.5 million
  • Last Funding Round: Venture round, $6 million in December 2023
  • Investors: Route 66 Ventures, PSL Ventures, Vulcan Capital, Emily Pesce

Fort Health: Virtual Mental Health For Children And AdolescentsFort Health

  • Description: "Fort Health is built with the Child Mind Institute, an independent non-profit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders"
  • Founded: 2022
  • Funding Raised: $8.8 million
  • Last Funding Round: Venture round, $8.8 million in February 2023
  • Investors: undisclosed


  • Description: "The Hopscotch Approach is personalized for you and your child’s unique journey. Built for your family’s well-being. Created by clinical experts."
  • Founded: 2020
  • Funding Raised: $8.1 million
  • Last Funding Round: Seed round, $8 million in September 2022
  • Investors: Inspired Capital Partners, Cold Start Ventures, Watershed Capital, New York Ventures, Remarkable, Greycroft, Clark Landry, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator,
    eLab Accelerator

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