Scouting Report-Ginger: Improving Access to Value-Based Mental Health Care



Event: Ginger, a San Francisco based mental health startup, recently raised $100M in a series E round. Ginger partners with companies to provide its users a personalized plan through a platform equipped with evidence-based therapy sessions and psychiatry services; a self-care library offering over 120 stress management activities; and behavioral coaches available 24/7. As reported by Fierce Healthcare, since 2020 many investors have backed digital mental health startups, with the number of employees utilizing these mental health services increasing by 66% during the COVID pandemic. Founded in 2011 and spun-out from MIT Media Lab, Ginger has raised over $236M backed by investors from Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Cigna Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Advance Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Health Velocity Capital, City Light Capital and WP Global Partners. This is the second time in that last 8 months that Ginger has raised capital raising $50M in August of 2020.


Description: Ginger provides an on-demand system that brings together behavioral health coaches, therapists, and psychiatrists, to deliver personalized care platform for the delivery of mental healthcare. Ginger’s approach combines high-quality human care with science and augmented intelligence offering conversational interfaces and behavioral pattern recognition for the treatment of stress, depression, and issues with work or relationships. Ginger offers its mental health and wellness platform to over 200 companies, across 40 countries, connecting over millions of employers, employees and payers with their services. Additionally, BusinessWire notes that Ginger offers their services to 30 integrated health systems and health plans. According to the company, “70% of members see an improvement in depression symptoms within 10–14 weeks of care” and using peer-reviewed assessments, Ginger promises a return on investment of 4.2 times. The company also stated that since last year, Ginger has tripled in revenue, “tripled its employee base and expanded its team of behavioral health coaches, clinicians, engineers, and operational leaders.” Ginger CEO Russ Glass noted that the company intends to use the funds to “continue expanding access to value-based mental healthcare through additional partnerships with multinational employers and health plans” and “to extend its reach to support underserved populations through new government payer relationships and collaborations with non-profit organizations”, among other things.


Implication: Ginger offers its services to over 10 million people, yet demand remains as “high as 3x pre-pandemic levels”. As more people are working from home, isolated and stressed, the need for on-demand telebehavioral health services is on the rise. For example, a 2020 survey by Vyond suggested 45% of employees who are isolated at home want education in mental health strategies from their employers…” Specifically, the need for integrated and virtual mental health care is evident, as many clinics are shifting to virtual care or an omnichannel model that combines many care delivery models (in-person, virtual, etc.). Nevertheless, according to the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) despite the fact that about one in five people are affected by mental health issues and an estimated one in twenty disabled by mental health issues, getting people into care remains a barrier. As a result, Gingers evidence-based platform and others like it, which are reasonably priced (typically under $500 per year) provide an opportunity to address mental health issues in a convenient, stigma free way from the privacy of their homes. Moreover, by allowing people to track their progress and personalize when and how they receive care can empower Ginger users to take command of an issue that many may have felt were beyond their control..


Ginger Banks Another $100M to Ramp up Partnerships with Health Plans, Government Payers; Ginger Announces $100 Million Series E Financing from Blackstone to Bring Value-Based Mental Healthcare to Millions of Employees and Health Plan Members



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