Our Investment in Brightline

We are excited to announce our firm’s investment in Brightline Health’s $72M Series B financing round. Brightline is the first tech-enabled behavioral health platform for children, teens, and their families. The company’s collaborative care teams, clinically-backed virtual services, and highly engaging family-based, dyadic care model address access barriers and provides increased convenience for the 17M young people and their families dealing with behavioral health challenges.[1] We are delighted to support the company alongside co-investors Google Ventures, Optum Ventures, Oak FT/HC, and Threshold Ventures.

The pediatric behavioral healthcare system is opaque, convoluted, and littered with immense barriers that parents across the country are forced to overcome. Brightline was born out of CEO and Founder, Naomi Allen’s personal struggle when attempting to navigate the health system and find high-quality care for her son. Her personal journey combined with two decades of experience building and scaling digital health companies culminated in Naomi launching Brightline with long-time business partner Giovanni Colella.

“When first navigating pediatric behavioral health for my son it was very clear that the system was broken at every turn,” said Naomi Allen, CEO and Co-Founder of Brightline Health. As a digital health entrepreneur, it quickly became obvious that there was a clear opportunity to leverage technology and expand access to a proven clinical model that has demonstrated outsized health outcomes. Likewise, working with long-time partner 7wireVentures was a similarly clear decision. I’m excited to again partner with a best-in-class team that I’ve known for decades and build a better healthcare system”

At 7wireVentures, we actively search for companies that fully embody our thesis of empowering an Informed Connected Healthcare Consumer. Designed for convenience, superior care, expanded accessibility, and affordability, Brightline squarely fits within this thesis and provides a consumer-centric solution to the many pain-points faced by families today.

“Our country is facing a behavioral health crisis and there is no population where this is more apparent than among our children and teens”, said Glen Tullman, Managing Partner of 7wireVentures and CEO of Transcarent. Brightline is reinventing behavioral health care for children and is bringing urgently needed support to families still dealing with the mental health fallout from the pandemic. We are excited to be partnering with Naomi, an entrepreneur who our team knows well from her success as our Chief Growth Officer at Livongo and strongly support her vision for a new approach to pediatric behavioral health.”  

Brightline has developed a comprehensive end-to-end pediatric behavioral health care platform enabled by three primary features: “Connect” a digital content hub and coach chat tool, “Coaching” a 1:1 health coach staffed telehealth platform, and “Care” a one-to-one clinician-staffed telehealth platform. The platform’s proprietary digital behavioral health assessment identifies a family’s clinical and non-clinical needs and designs a personalized treatment plan based on the child’s acuity and family context. Brightline delivers targeted digital content, coaching, and clinical care with licensed therapists to provide the right level of support at the right time throughout the mental health journey. Applying a proven dyadic care model, the three-pronged platform is designed to be jointly leveraged by children and parents to improve parenting, familial relationships, and child behavior.

Why We Invested:

The Rising Prevalence of Pediatric Behavioral Health Disorders

There is a growing behavioral health crisis in the U.S., with children and young adults driving the lion’s share of growth in condition prevalence.[2] Broader societal shifts have pressured the mental health of the current generation of children. Today, one in five adolescents exhibit signs of internet addiction and nearly one in two middle and high school students have reported instances of cyberbullying.[3][4] As a result, over the past decade, mental illness diagnoses in U.S. children increased by 31%.[5] Devastatingly, social restrictions, school closures, and familial stressors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have only served to further exacerbate mental health challenges. [6][7] It is clear that children have been uniquely suffering through this behavioral health crisis in ways the country is only beginning to grasp. Providing accessible, high-quality, and appropriate treatment through a digital and virtual care platform like Brightline is a salient strategy to bring much needed relief to our nation’s children and teens.

Expansive Opportunity to Improve the Care Experience

Virtual care delivery presents a compelling solution to closing access gaps, by addressing geographic barriers, optimizing provider supply, and enabling convenient, instantaneous access to the right level of care at the right time. Brightline offers an end-to-end approach to pediatric behavioral health that offers on-demand, coordinated treatment for a wide set of common mental and developmental health concerns. The platform’s youth-friendly behavioral health services are sensitive to the unique stage of development of children and adolescents and creates a superior care experience that families love, evidenced by a net promoter score of 67. Additionally, Brightline’s dyadic clinical model is purposefully designed for children and their families and is proven to be significantly more effective in producing long-lasting improvements in behavioral health outcomes than select in-person treatment models.[8]

Massive Cost Burden of Pediatric Behavioral Health

The US healthcare system is burdened by the high and rising costs of managing pediatric behavioral health. Behavioral health disorders are among the most common childhood diseases, impacting the lives of over 17M families across the United States.[1] Collectively, pediatric mental health conditions generate an estimated economic burden of $12B.[9] Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder for example is particularly burdensome, where members in the top 60% of annual outpatient healthcare spend over $21,000 on outpatient care annually.[10] As a result, risk-bearing organizations such as health plans and self-insured employers are actively seeking a solution to support the growing prevalence of pediatric behavioral needs while simultaneously addressing the rising costs.

“Brightline has a clear opportunity to improve both care delivery and the user experience for children and their parents,” said Alyssa Jaffee, Partner at 7wireVentures. “Brightline finally provides access to a consumer-centric, coordinated, and high-quality care platform which will be incredibly value for all families and particularly critical for those dealing with the traumatic and stressful experiences faced over the past year. By improving access to affordable high-quality care, we are confident that Brightline can bend the cost curve and combat the rising pediatric behavioral expenditures for risk bearing stakeholders.”

Brightline has already experienced strong success with 94% of members using the company’s therapy services demonstrating clinical improvement. The company intends to meaningfully grow their operations and rapidly build their clinical network to provide engaging and efficacious pediatric therapy services to all 50 states. The Brightline team is poised to achieve its mission of bringing extraordinary behavioral health care to families, when and where they need it. We are thrilled to welcome the company to the 7wireVentures portfolio.

[1] Child Mind Institute: Children’s Mental Health Report

[2] Health Leaders: Behavioral Health Needs Spike for Children and Young Adults

[3] Common Sense Media: Technology Addiction, Concern, Controversy, and Finding Balance

[4] Pediatrics: Digital Media, Anxiety, and Depression in Children

[5] Value in Health: The Increasing Rate of Childhood Mental Illnesses and Associated  Healthcare Costs in the Unites States

[6] CDC: Mental Health–Related Emergency Department Visits Among Children Aged <18 Years During the COVID-19 Pandemic

[7] APA: New APA Poll Shows Sustained Anxiety Among Americans

[8] NCBI: Integrated Mental Health Services for the Developmental Period (0 to 25 Years): A Critical Review of the Evidence

[9] RAND Study: Mental Health Care for Youth

[10] Insurance Mandates and Out-of-Pocket Spending for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder