With growing mental health concerns in the United States, the tech industry continues to search for a solution to get more people in front of therapists and modernize the experience.
Some investors are betting on a new mental health startup called Alma, a membership-based group for mental health professionals.
Alma launched in October 2018 with a brick and mortar location on New York’s Madison Avenue. Local mental health providers can apply for membership to use the space to treat patients, as well as form relationships with other therapists.
Providers — which include psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers, as well as an acupuncturists — pay $165 per month, plus an hourly rate for booking private rooms, which are outfitted with precisely the same furniture and modern decor so patients benefit from the familiarity, no matter which room they meet in.
In exchange, Alma provides members with a suite of services, such as billing, scheduling, and tools for treating patients over video chat. The idea is to make it easier, and possibly more affordable, for them to perform tasks associated with running their own business. There’s also a communal kitchen and frequent events held in the space.
Alma has a “matchmaker” on staff who specializes in mental health counseling, and is devoted to pairing patients with professionals that suit their specific needs.
This week, founder and CEO Harry Ritter told CNN Business that Alma has raised $8 million in new funding towards its expansion. The round was led by venture capital firm Tusk Venture Partners, bringing Alma’s total funding to $12.5 million to date. Other investors include Sound Ventures, First Round Capital, Primary Ventures, and Box Group.
Alma is rolling out a community membership option for those who aren’t interested in using the physical space but want in on its other services. For now, it’s available to those in New York who may have their own offices but want access to Alma’s network, referrals, client matching, events and billing services. The cost for community membership is $145 per month.