Mental health benefits provider Spring Health is expanding into the family and pediatric space with its acquisition of Weldon.
Weldon offers mental wellness guidance to parents through chats with therapists, social workers and parenting coaches as well as group support with other parents and educational content. It includes topics like sleep, tantrums, grief, screen time and overall child development.
“We are thrilled to join the Spring Health team and continue our mission to streamline access to mental health experts who provide support specifically for parents,” Weldon cofounder Mark Burrell said in a statement. “When we learned about Spring Health’s precise, personal and proven care model alongside it being the only comprehensive global solution for families, we immediately felt our values aligned and were compelled to join the team.”
Burell along with his cofounder and sister Lynn Burrell will join Spring’s product team.
In addition to the family support tools, Spring also announced it would expand offerings for substance use disorder treatment and coaching as well as increase access to its platform globally.
WHY IT MATTERS
With the Weldon deal, Spring will expand into parent and child mental health support, a major concern in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proportion of mental health-related emergency department visits for children and teens increased during the early months of the pandemic. Meanwhile, parents reported they struggled to manage child care responsibilities and their own mental health worsened.
“The pandemic exacerbated the mental health crisis for parents and children, accelerating the need for us to be a one-stop solution for family mental healthcare across a broad spectrum of ages and needs,” Spring cofounder and CEO April Koh said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have Mark and Lynn joining us, bringing their expertise and deep knowledge of the unique struggles parents, and families as a whole, are facing.”
THE LARGER TREND
In September, Spring announced it had raised $190 million in Series C funding, bumping its valuation to $2 billion. Since then, the mental health-focused startup has been expanding its leadership team with new hires at the end of April.
Though overall digital health funding declined in the first quarter this year, mental health companies still brought in $1 billion in investment dollars, according to Rock Health’s report. CB Insights found funding for mental health tech companies increased 139% from 2020 to 2021, raising $5.5 billion globally.
Other companies in the space include Headspace Health, Lyra Health and BetterUp. Meanwhile, there are also a growing number of companies focused on the pediatric space, including Brightline, Daybreak Health and Little Otter.