Startup News: BetterUp, Path Lead in Coaching & Therapy Services, Mojo Vision Partners with Amazon

BetterUp, Path Lead in Coaching & Therapy Services, Mojo Vision Partners with Amazon

Investments in the fast-growing teletherapy and mobile-based coaching industries are creating opportunities for startups serving varying needs.

According to Crunchbase, funding from investors surpassed $1.4 billion worldwide so far in 2022, a huge spike from just $418 million in 2018. Some of that rise has been attributed to the role the pandemic played in reducing the opportunity for in-office visits. Moreover, the number of venture-backed teletherapy startups has jumped as well, from 15 in 2010 to more than 100 today.

Crunchbase reports that the teletherapy business model over the past few years has generally moved from a pay-out-of-pocket subscription mode to more of a traditional insurance model. Among the largest companies in the space today are BetterHelp, which was acquired by Teladoc Health in 2015, and Talkspace, which went public last year.

But a slew of private companies are also making their mark. Path, which has raised over $100 million, helps connect patients with a network of therapists covered by insurance. And Quartet Health, which has raised more than $270 million, allows insurance-based mental health providers find and manage patients.

Then there’s Alma, which works behind the scenes helping therapists with their administrative and billing chores, in turn allowing them more time with their patients. Alma has raised a total of $220.5 million in five funding rounds, the most recent of which was a Series D round in August.

Even Prince Harry has found a place in this industry. Last year, the second son of Great Britain’s King Charles III took the job of “chief impact officer” with San Francisco-based BetterUp, which provides teletherapy and other types of career coaching and counseling to employees at corporations. Thus far, the startup has raised $566 million and gained some extra publicity with the perfect creative hire: a Royal with a particular interest in mental-health issues. At a recent conference in San Francisco, the prince said, “what we're trying to do now — the goal — is the democratization of coaching to make sure we can get it to the masses."

Mojo Vision’s Shopping Reality

Early this month, Mojo Vision, which has developed an augmented-reality contact lens, announced the creation of a new app created in partnership with Amazon. According to IEEE Spectrum, an engineering publication, “the app allows users to ask Alexa, by talking, to add items to their shopping list that they can then view as a scrollable list through the lens while walking through the grocery store. Users can check off items while holding their gaze for a moment.” Recently, Mojo Vision CEO Drew Perkins became the first person to wear a "feature complete prototype lens” from the company during an internal test. The demo was significant because it showed the contact lens can remain functional, without any wiring to the device, while being worn.

While it’s debatable whether this is the killer app that will revolutionize shopping, the technology is viewed as an advancement in how augmented reality devices as small as contacts — as opposed to glasses or headwear –can be used in a practical setting paired with voice-recognition software.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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