Children have been extremely resilient during the pandemic, adjusting to inconsistent school sessions, adapting to remote learning, and living in a world without social interactions and extracurricular activities. Yet, there has undoubtedly been added stress for our youth, with an increase in diagnosed anxiety, eating disorders, suicide along with a corresponding increase in requests for psychotherapy. HelloHero, a virtual pediatric therapy platform, has been a lifesaver for students, their parents, and school districts at a time when our students have been most vulnerable. The platform partners with school districts to offer its platform that connects students with licensed therapists that build tailored programs to address and treat a student’s developmental and behavioral needs. In addition to the clinical aspect, HelloHero also handles payments, insurance, compliance, and billing, alleviating the administrative burden for the districts. Therapy services are also offered directly to families. By bringing therapy into the home has the added benefit of engaging the parents and teaching them strategies to manage their children’s behavior and treatment, which has been shown to yield better long-term outcomes.
AlleyWatch caught up with HelloHero CEO and Founder Syed Mohammed to learn more about how his personal experience with behavioral therapy inspired the business, the company’s strategic plans, recent round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $9.1M, and much, much more.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
HelloHero raised $7.7 million led by Silverton Partners with participation from Correlation Ventures, Achieve Partners, and Service Provider Capital New England Fund.
Tell us about the product or service that HelloHero offers:
HelloHero provides online comprehensive therapies and wellness services for children. Since its launch in 2018, HelloHero has offered virtual therapy through its proprietary digital platform. The company has focused on personalized care to meet a child’s specific needs by attracting the best therapists, using technology to continuously deliver quality therapy, and reducing payment friction between payers and insurance.
What inspired the start of HelloHero?
I struggled with dyslexia as a child but was not diagnosed until adulthood. After benefiting from therapy as an adult, I have focused on building out a telethapy program offered through schools or directly to families.
How is HelloHero different?
HelloHero is a pediatric services company built on the principles of value-based healthcare. Our core mission is improving outcomes and reducing overall costs of healthcare for children.
Unlike other therapy and mental health services providers, HelloHero is building a value-based healthcare framework aimed at restructuring healthcare systems with the overarching goal of ensuring patients receive the most value possible. Value is defined as health outcomes per unit of costs, which keeps the focus on providing quality over quantity.
What market does HelloHero target and how big is it?
HelloHero’s immediate market is K-12 schools, which is a market worth over $160M per year. HelloHero is also expanding its direct-to-family services to reach a much wider audience as it scales its platform.
What’s your business model?
HelloHero pricing model is based on collecting health care expenditure through the school district, Medicaid, or private health insurance. All services are billed per session. HelloHero allows for flexible distribution of cost of healthcare services with the ability to bill the school district Medicaid or private insurance companies.
What are your post-COVID office plans??
HelloHero is a remote-based company with team members all over the country.
What was the funding process like?
Given our traction, the funding process was fairly quick. The funding process was further expedited by the lead investor of the round, Silverton Partners.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
The time constraints while raising capital was our biggest challenge. An additional challenge was finding the right partners who can not only infuse capital but also have the ability to strategically aid in the company’s growth.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The clear need and demand for the services and various payer options for those services and size of market, combined with our growth trajectory over the last year.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
HelloHero is diligently working on onboarding other Leadership members in Human Resources, Marketing, and Accounting. We are also working to create additional payer relationships with Medicaid and private insurance companies in an additional 2-3 states in the next 6 months.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We intend to increase patient count and further enhance technology to aid therapists in providing quality care for our customers; which will also reduce the cost of delivery. The enhancement of technology will allow the therapists to focus on quality care for the child.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?
I currently do not have a favorite outdoor restaurant, but I thoroughly enjoy sitting on the Astoria/Long Island City waterfront with my wife facing the Manhattan skyline eating my favorite homemade sandwich.