The pandemic has exacerbated the mental health crisis that the US has been facing for many years. According to the American Psychological Association, rate of anxiety and depression for American adults was 4x between April 2020 and August 2021 than they were for 2019. 15.8% of adult Americans are taking some form of mental health medication; the pharmaceutical market for mental health topped $36B in 2020. Minded is a psychiatric telehealth platform that allows patients to quickly and efficiently refill their mental health prescription needs for the treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The company offers monthly virtual consults with board-certified psychiatric providers, 24/7 access to care teams, and is tailoring pharmaceutical plans based on DNA with plans to offer cutting-edge psychedelic therapies as well. Minded is offered for a simple $65 monthly fee with the cost of prescriptions additional. Initially launching in New York in 2021, Minded has expanded to serve patients in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
AlleyWatch caught up with Minded CEO and Cofounder David Ronick to learn more about how his personal journey inspired the decision to launch the company, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $29.7M, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Minded raised $25 million in seed funding. Investors include Streamlined Ventures, Link Ventures, The Tiger Fund, Unicorn Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, Gaingels, SALT Fund, TheFund, and the founders of Care.com, Bolt, Gravity Blanket, RxBar, and Gilt.com.
Tell us about the product or service that Minded offers.
Minded provides consumers with high-quality, affordable online psychiatry. We specialize in prescribing and managing medication for mental health.
I’ve taken medication for anxiety and insomnia for more than a decade, and it has truly changed my life. But after years of trekking to an expensive psychiatrist just to renew my prescription, I realized there had to be a better way. That’s where the idea for Minded originated. As a serial entrepreneur (I cofounded fintech unicorn Stash), I knew I was going to need help to turn my a-ha moment into a business. A venture capital contact introduced me to Gaspard de Dreuzy who had built the consumer fintech unicorn Voyager and also cofounded Pager, a telehealth communications company. He brought me up to speed on the industry, and then we teamed up with one of my good friends, Chris Dennis, MD, a board-certified, multi-state licensed psychiatrist, Chief Behavioral Health Officer at Landmark Health and a pioneer in the field of telehealth. The three of us founded Minded and made it our mission to level the playing field and make psychiatric care easy and affordable to all.
How is Minded different?
Minded is the leading specialist in prescribing mental health medication online. We focus on medication, so we offer high-quality care from board-certified psychiatric providers, and we’re rolling out innovative treatments such as using DNA to diagnose with precision, and psychedelics for treatment-resistant depression. Minded is also taking a lead in terms of fighting the stigma around mental health medication, and the importance of leveling the playing field to provide access for all.
What market does Minded target and how big is it?
Over 65 million Americans take mental health medication, getting over 500 million prescriptions per year – and with 1 in 5 adults experiencing a mental health condition, the potential market size is far bigger. But there is a shortage of psychiatrists, so demand for care is far greater than the availability of care. 61% of psychiatrists are over 55, and only 7% of psychiatrists in large health networks are taking new patients, and also have available appointments within a two-week period. The disproportion of the supply and demand forces many adults to rely on a local general practitioner to prescribe medication instead of experts in mental health treatment, resulting in suboptimal care.
What’s your business model?
Minded charges a monthly subscription fee of $65 for psychiatric care. The fee includes a personalized medication plan, monthly video appointments with our providers, all prescriptions and refills, medication adjustments, and unlimited messaging with our care team. Medication is billed separately. Customers can opt to have most medications we prescribe delivered, or they can pick up their medication at their preferred pharmacy.
What are your post-COVID office plans??
Most of the Minded team works remotely (we have employees around the world), but our headquarters are in SoHo in New York City. We found the space through TechStars and have made some great connections with other startups through it. As COVID numbers improve, we plan to do more in-person gatherings.
What was the funding process like?
Many of our investors are people we’ve known and worked with previously, which made the process faster and easier than most of the rounds I’ve done in the past.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Meeting with investors remotely during the pandemic was a double-edged sword. While it’s challenging to develop relationships remotely, not having to travel made the process faster and let us meet with investors all over the country—and the world—easily.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The massive size of the market, the importance of the mission, the rapid rise of direct-to-consumer telehealth brands, and the prior success, experience, and relationships of the founders helped.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We’re expanding our formulary to treat most psychiatric conditions by the end of Q2, which will allow us to increase access to care for more customers. Within the next year, we also plan to expand to 30 states, double the size of our medical team, and grow the business tenfold.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Be disciplined about raising and spending just what you need to hit key milestones, and develop and foster relationships with investors ahead of when you ask for their investments.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
It’s such an exciting time for the company. In addition to massive geographic expansion, in upcoming months, we will be expanding our formulary to be able to treat psychiatric conditions beyond anxiety, depression, and sleep. We’re also focusing heavily on improving our product and technology while doubling the size of our team.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?
Now that there are so many outdoor eating options, it’s tough to choose. But whether I’m dining indoors or out, Carbone is my favorite. The baked clams and spicy rigatoni vodka are a must-order.