Why We Invested in Lyra – Transforming Behavioral Health

Adams Street’s Growth Equity Team is proud to announce an investment in Lyra, a mental health provider that is transforming behavioral healthcare through technology with a human touch.

A Market in Need of Disruption

Behavioral health is one of the defining problems of our time. Fifty million Americans each year suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition such as depression or anxiety, though few receive effective care. A recent study by Milliman1 analyzed the commercial insurance claims of 21 million people. They found that the 27% of patients who suffered from a behavioral health condition, in addition to other medical problems, accounted for close to 60% of total healthcare spend. Yet less than 5% of the total healthcare costs of those 21 million people went toward behavioral health treatment. This is primarily due to the barriers to access care. The topic of mental health is an intimidating and sensitive subject; many of those who suffer want help, but don’t know where to start. Finding personalized care that’s effective is challenging, and the uncertainty and required physical isolation of the coronavirus pandemic has made seeking care more important than ever. Further, the industry struggles with a shortage of providers that can scale to meet current demand. Lyra has introduced an approachable platform, available as an employer-sponsored benefit, that uses technology to match individuals to a provider that’s appropriate for their specific struggles. Not only does this approach deliver higher quality care to more people, but it also produces better outcomes.

I believe we will look back on 2020 as a turning point in our collective recognition that the mental health status quo is not good enough. — David Ebersman, Co-founder & CEO, Lyra

Person-to-Person Care with Tech-Enabled Scale

Lyra’s secret sauce is understanding its members’ needs. The platform takes symptom data and matches members to healthcare professionals and treatments using technology as a guide for the most effective approach. Through its Blended Care Model, members receive personalized plans that combine provider-led one-on-one sessions with interim software-driven cognitive behavioral therapy. This model drives better, faster outcomes at far greater scale than traditional resources. Companies who offer Lyra as a benefit to their employees may observe improved productivity and lower turnover as a result.

The platform improves with greater usage, enabling Lyra to refine their provider network and improve client matching. The effectiveness of the solution speaks for itself in customer engagement; 13% of employees sign up for Lyra during the first year compared to the 2% typical engagement with employee assistance programs (EAPs). As a young company, Lyra has attracted some of the most respected brand name firms as customers across a range of industries, a testament to the quality of its solution as well as the talent and credibility of the management team.

World-Class Leadership

Given Lyra’s traction to date, it is no surprise that the company is backed by a talented management team and an experienced bench of advisors, all of whom are very passionate about making a difference in behavioral health. The driving force behind the team is co-founder & CEO David Ebersman, who draws on his unique experience serving as CFO of both Genentech and Facebook to advance a mission that’s deeply important to both him and the team he’s built. Adams Street got to know David over the course of several years and has been consistently impressed by his team’s ability to not just meet, but exceed the goals they set out to accomplish. David was pivotal during Facebook’s growth years as the company became publicly listed, and he brings that same metrics-driven approach to building Lyra.

Adams Street is excited to help David and his team realize their vision of transforming the way mental healthcare is provided.