DotCom Therapy raises $13M to provide therapy for kids, in and out of school – TechCrunch

DotCom Therapy, a pediatric telemedicine company, has completed a $ 13 million Series A round.Far from the only telemedicine company trying to take advantage of the venture capital investment boom Mental health startup, But it works in super-specific areas: treatment for children.

DotCom Therapy was co-founded in 2015 by Rachel Mack Robinson, then a pediatrician at a neurology clinic in Missouri, and Emily Purdom, a speech therapist. Purdom is no longer involved in the company.

The pair noticed a pattern that still applies in 2021: about 1 in 5 children In the United States, I experience mental disorders (ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc.) 20 percent Get treatment from your mental health care provider according to the CDC.

The bet on dot-com therapy is that teletherapy can fill that gap.

During his childhood, Robinson called school districts across the country to request a trial run of a telemedicine program. Her first green light was in the rural area of ​​Alaska, where Robinson offered a combination of face-to-face and telemedicine.

Today, the company offers fully online speech, vocational and behavioral therapy, and continues to focus on partnering with schools and other youth programs such as Little League (which provides mental health services for Little League World Series tournaments). .. To date, DotCom Therapy has partnered with more than 400 schools (more than 100 districts) in 38 states.

With this latest funding, the company plans to expand its business beyond the school district and expand its services to reach children inside and outside the school. The family-friendly program, specifically called Zesh, is an online therapy platform that matches children and therapists, schedules visits, and hosts video calls.

“Our main customer base was the school district from kindergarten to high school. We have a swaying business core in the education market,” says Robinson. “But we know we want to expand our footsteps, enter the healthcare system, and implement different healthcare plans to serve private patients,” she says. say.

This series A New capital partner – A company with a successful history in the field of telemedicine. New Capital Partners was an early investor in Teladoc, a virtual healthcare company founded in 2002. Teladoc was launched in 2015 with a corporate value of $ 620 million. The round was wiped out with investments from LRV Health and OSF Ventures.

Will Cowen, General Partner of LRV Health, Stan Lynall, Vice President of Investment at OSF Ventures, and James Outland, Managing Partner of New Capital Partners, will join DotCom Therapy’s board of directors. In total, the company has raised $ 14 million.

Prior to the pandemic, Robinson said the biggest barrier to success was engrossing school districts and families with distance treatment. The pandemic has changed that outlook.

Restrictions on reimbursement of telemedicine services and geographical requirements for telemedicine services in response to COVID-19 It was Loosen.. Telemedicine service usage peaked in April 2020, but according to July 2021, it is about 38 times more secure than pre-pandemic usage. McKinsey Report..

By moving out of school-based partners, DotCom Therapy will enter a broader area of ​​highly competitive mental health and telemedicine.Their range is Unicorn like TalkSpace For other startups.

At least in Robinson’s view, a particular focus on telemedicine for children, and a particular area of ​​occupational therapy and speech therapy, will help make DotCom stand out in increasingly crowded spaces.

“I think the majority of our competitors are Teladocs or Gingers, but for them, the main focus was on the adult population,” she says.

DotCom Therapy has general research that supports the idea that online speech and occupational therapy for children works. One systematic review Of the seven telemedicine speech therapy and speech therapy studies, there was a significant improvement in children’s language skills comparable to face-to-face therapy, but studies are still limited.

in general, Lack of platform-specific validation General criticism For other mental health telemedicine companies.Dot com therapy Released White paper It suggests that the children have benefited from their telemedicine program. However, Robinson does not disclose additional ongoing validation studies specifically focused on dot-com services.

Instead, the company works with two advisors, former Chief Medical Officer of Medicaid, Andreostrovsky, and former Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Colleen Kraft, to develop and track outcome indicators for each service. It states that there is.

“This includes DSM-5 cross-sectional measurements, ASHA’s functional communication indicators, and unique occupational therapy results generated from a team of occupational therapists from master’s to doctoral level,” Robinson said. say.

On the business side, DotCom’s current school district-based approach is a multi-faceted process, and downloading the app is not enough. In a sense, they provide services, not just platforms.

DotCom Therapy aims to be incorporated into the school district with which the company works. For example, if your school has about 150 students who need speech therapy, DotCom Therapy will determine the number of therapists you think your school will need...

“We have our own calculator that can determine the number of therapists that need to be placed in that particular location,” says Robinson.Overall it takes about 21st According to the DotComTherapy website, to match the therapist with the student.

DotCom Therapy also coordinates with school district managers from kindergarten to high school who can stay in the room while the child is participating in the therapy (there is a video on how it works). here), Also handles scheduling and tracking of all student sessions.

So far, DotCom Therapy employs about 200 therapists, Robinson says. They are all employed as W-2 employees rather than independent contractors. According to Robinson, the company’s employees have an existing customer retention rate of around 97%. On the customer side, the company maintains about 90% of its customers.

In this Series A round, Robinson said the company is focusing on expanding to all 50 states by January and building services for individuals and families.

“We feel that rapid growth is very urgent, but it’s a very smart way to meet demand without compromising quality. So it’s us to stay up late. It’s really about making sure that you can grow at a healthy pace, “says Robinson.

DotCom Therapy raises $13M to provide therapy for kids, in and out of school – TechCrunch Source link DotCom Therapy raises $13M to provide therapy for kids, in and out of school – TechCrunch

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