SAN MATEO, Calif., Sept. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Meru Health, which provides the most comprehensive online mental health solution for depression, burnout and anxiety, announced today that it has raised a $38M Series B funding round led by Industry Ventures. Additional investors in the round include early backers Bold Capital Partners, Freestyle VC, FMZ Ventures and Leksell Social Ventures along with financing provided by J.P. Morgan. The new funding, a mix of equity and debt, will be used to accelerate Meru Health’s U.S. nationwide expansion, broaden efforts to partner with healthcare payers and employers, and to expand access to a new coaching solution – intended to help people with early signs of depression, burnout or anxiety keep those symptoms from worsening.
“We were so impressed with the team’s commitment to addressing a pressing societal and market need with best-in-class clinical evidence and data,” said Fanni Fan, Vice President at Industry Ventures. “We also found Meru Health’s new coaching solution very exciting. Meru Health is essentially serving members across the continuum by bringing preventive care to mental health. No one else is doing that. We think there is tremendous potential here.”
Meru Health works with employers such as Stanford University and several Fortune 100 and 500 companies, EAPs such as Wellspring and healthcare payers such as Cigna, Humana and Moda Health to provide an online mental healthcare program that shows strong and lasting clinical outcomes. In a peer-reviewed study, researchers found that 48 percent of participants with at least moderate depressive symptoms responded to treatment, and 60 percent of participants had sustained depression and anxiety reductions at the 12-month follow-up. These response rates are higher than those found in a real-world antidepressant study that showed a response rate less than 20 percent at end of treatment and less than 30 percent at 12-month follow-up. The average cost savings for an employer for the Meru Health program is estimated to be over $6,000 per enrolled participant (because the downstream healthcare costs and reduced worker productivity of untreated anxiety and depression are so high).
Meru Health’s treatment program can be accessed anytime and anywhere via a smartphone app. Each participant is supported by a personal, licensed therapist who guides them through the 12-week app-based program where they learn behavioral practices, mindfulness, biofeedback practices and habit-changing activities for sleep, nutrition and more to help decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. After the initial 12 weeks, participants access digital content and get to use the wearable biofeedback device for the next 9 months.
Meru Health was born from its founder’s own experience. Several years ago, CEO and founder Kristian Ranta’s older brother Peter lost his battle with depression and took his own life. A computer scientist by background, Ranta was frustrated with the state of mental healthcare: the lack of availability of mental health providers, and low effectiveness and inconsistency of care. Meru Health was launched in 2018, and the company’s customer base grew by 10X in 2020. Meru Health continues to see strong growth in 2021 and beyond.
“Meru Health was founded to reinvent how mental healthcare works, including solving access challenges as well as creating a more holistic offering that could produce better and longer lasting results than what is available today,” said Ranta. “We knew this kind of a new approach would require rigorous clinical validation. I’m proud of our work with the most intelligent minds in the world, collaborating with top universities such as Stanford and Harvard, and building a world-class in-house science team to keep building the most effective solution for mental health that really helps people to heal from depression and anxiety.”
“I can’t emphasize enough that we are in a mental health crisis right now,” said Ranta. “COVID-19 has left tens of millions of depressed and anxious people in its wake, and without effective treatment, the outcome could be tragic. Solutions like Meru Health are essential to bringing those people back to a fully functioning state where they feel empowered to take care of their own mental health. We’re incredibly proud of the work we’re doing.”
About Meru Health
Meru Health is setting the new standard in mental healthcare with the most comprehensive online solution that combines licensed therapists and psychiatrists, a smartphone-based treatment program, biofeedback wearable, anonymous peer support, and habit-changing activities for sleep, nutrition and more. The company is committed to evidence-based care and has published groundbreaking clinical outcomes with Stanford, Harvard, and UC Davis that show promising clinical effectiveness and lasting results that offers a convenient, accessible, side effect-free mental health treatment option in contrast to the standard of care in the U.S. today. Meru Health partners with major health insurance providers like Cigna, Humana and Moda Health, as well as leading businesses who want to provide best-in-class mental health care for their employees or members. For more information, visit www.meruhealth.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.