Partnering with SonderMind to improve mental health access

July 28, 2021
Partnering with SonderMind to improve mental health access

At PI, we are humbled to partner with companies that we believe have uncommon potential. Our evergreen, established capital base allows us to invest over long time horizons. We seek to serve as a sounding board for entrepreneurs and help them tap into growth opportunities. We deploy capital using a synergistic crossover strategy, leveraging our understanding of public markets and operational benchmarks to the benefit of our growth equity practice. Today, we are excited to announce a new partnership with Mark Frank, and the rest of the SonderMind team; it is an honor to be co-leading their Series C growth financing. We are impressed by SonderMind’s mission to redesign mental health to improve accessibility, utilization and clinical outcomes and thrilled to partner with them through this journey.

Structural issues around mental health access

At PI, we have been tracking the developments in the mental health space over the recent years. We believe that the pandemic has put the spotlight on mental and behavioral health issues and solutions addressing these are the need of the hour. It is our view that improving access to mental health care can be one of the key levers to better patient outcomes and managing rising healthcare costs.

The CDC estimated that in 2015, ~43 million or 1 in 5 Americans were suffering from some form of mental illness[1]. As per Mental Health America, over 50% of the adults with mental illness do not receive any treatment for the same and that over 26 million individuals with mental illnesses are going untreated[2]. The Covid-19 pandemic has only further exacerbated this issue.

A key factor in poor behavioral health access has been the high out-of-pocket costs as members often struggle to find therapists matching their requirements within their insurance network. This frequently results in patients opting to delay treatment, impacting mental health and adding to healthcare costs later down the line. Part of the access issue in behavioral health is due a high share of individual practitioners who are unable to handle the administrative burdens of contracting with multiple payers. At the same time, payers find it hard to consistently refresh their networks given the fragmented provider landscape and evolving member demands. This eventually results in members being unable to find the right therapists within network and delaying treatment, thereby impacting quality of life and eventually leading to high medical costs.

SonderMind’s platform addresses accessibility issues while allowing providers to maintain their independence

SonderMind offers an elegant solution to the problems around access to high quality therapists. Using its proprietary matching engine, SonderMind matches a patient with a therapist best suited to their needs, within their insurance network. The platform has a high matching success rate with over 90% of the patients meeting with the first provider they are matched with. The high success rate is driven by the underlying data platform which identifies the best fit for a given patient based on the patient data and responses. The platform also enables scheduling and connects to the insurance network for payment creating a seamless experience for the patients.

From a provider’s perspective, SonderMind is an ideal partner to grow their practices as it provides them access to multiple payers without the associated administrative workload. SonderMind can handle all the scheduling, documentation and payment processes, allowing providers to concentrate on what they are most passionate about — helping their patients get better.

Patient and therapist response to the platform has been excellent, reflecting in high retention rates, NPS scores and a steady improvement in utilization over time across cohorts. Feedback from payers has also been extremely positive and they appear very excited to partner with the platform as it expands into new regions. As patient needs evolve, a solution like SonderMind will become critical for all payers.

Long term vision combined with an execution powerhouse

Throughout our diligence process, we were impressed with the SonderMind team’s execution and ability to meet the challenging goals set by Mark and the board. The company has assembled a world class team that has consistently delivered on its internal targets while maintaining a high-quality experience for all stakeholders. The team is passionate about solving the core structural problems in mental health and are well on their way to creating a holistic behavioral healthcare delivery platform.

SonderMind is redesigning the way behavioral health is delivered and the company has the potential to be the go-to platform for all mental health needs in the long term, in our view. We are incredibly excited to partner with Mark and the rest of the SonderMind team on this journey!




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