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Therapist Matchmaking- A New Seema Aunty in Town?

  • SonderMind is a revolutionary therapy platform that connects users with licensed therapists based on their individual needs and geographical location. With a focus on improving mental health care access, utilization, and outcomes, SonderMind aims to decrease the stigma around mental health. 
  • Unlike other online therapy platforms, SonderMind offers flexible scheduling and accepts various insurance plans, making therapy more accessible and affordable. Their comprehensive range of mental healthcare services and commitment to reducing barriers to care set them apart in the industry. 
  • With their innovative approach, SonderMind is transforming the way people access and engage in therapy to prioritize their mental well-being.

We frequently see advertisements and reels on Instagram about mental health and therapy, right? At least once or twice.

Anyhow… My point is, that mental health is talked about more now, and people are more self-aware. The stigma around mental health is going away gradually. But is it fast enough? Is everyone self-aware? Are all kinds of people, young and old, ready to talk about it? And most importantly, does everyone have access to the kind of health care they need?

The mastermind behind it

Founders of SonderMind, Mark Frank and Sean Boyd are on a mission to positively change behavioral health care by improving mental health care access, utilization, and clinical outcomes for its users and decreasing the stigma around it. 

“When we prioritize mental wellbeing, we live happier, healthier lives. We know that mental health care has the power to enact real, positive change in our lives. This isn’t the future of therapy or a new wave of mental health treatment. It’s how mental health care and the system should work. Where we can access and afford the care we need. And, the care we get actually works, because it’s tailored to our individual goals.”  - The SonderMind team. 

So how does it work?

Sondermind basically acts as your mental health GPS. It is a therapy platform that connects users with licensed therapists, either in person or virtually, based on their unique needs and geographical location. SonderMind also connects mental health providers to networks of new patients, so it goes both ways.

Getting started with SonderMind is simple. You answer questions about your therapy experience and individual therapy needs and it uses that information to match you with a licensed therapist with experience specific to your needs. 

They're like the Seema aunty from Indian Matchmaking that you need before actually dating. They match you with therapists around you after taking a short quiz and arrange for therapy ‘dates’. This isn't just your regular Seema aunty, it’s the cool Seema aunty, they actually care about your mental health (too much shade?).

What is so unique about it?

What sets Sondermind apart from the rest is that it doesn’t have a subscription fee, unlike many other online therapy platforms. As a result, you can schedule your therapy sessions as you and your therapist see fit, and you can either pay out of pocket or file with your insurance.

They help you with payor credentialing, manage the billings and claims processes, and guarantee instant payment on claims. SonderMind accepts health insurance plans from most major providers and aims to offer competitive self-pay rates. 

The need and awareness for mental health have significantly increased over the past few years, especially after the pandemic hit. Despite the awareness, several people are scared to approach a professional, many find it taxing to find the correct therapist for them, and many cannot afford the exorbitant fees.

Not only does Sondermind find a therapist that caters to your needs, but also makes sure that the cost does not become a barrier between you and your mental health. 

Not just therapy, but the company provides a range of therapeutic mental healthcare services. It offers access to psychological services, massage therapy, acupuncture, and nutrition services.

How did it all start?

The company came into existence after Frank struggled to find a mental health professional of his own and heard of his sister’s struggles as a licensed professional counselor related to the business of her practice.

“Ultimately, as I spent hours researching the business of behavioral health care, the vision for SonderMind began to form. I met Sean Boyd, a successful mental health professional who had not only built his own thriving practice, but also had started a successful business serving the needs of therapists in private practice with a strong, community-based [outreach]. We found a shared passion for reducing the stigma [associated with seeking mental health care] and making it easier for clinicians to be successful. By early 2014, Sean and I had formally partnered and formed SonderMind, LLC,” he adds.

SonderMind is currently offered in 15 states in the United States of America and is based in Denver, Colorado. The company has raised a total of $183M in funding over 5 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on July 28, 2021, from a Series C round. SonderMind is funded by 22 investors, with Quiet Capital and Smash Ventures being the most recent investors.

It has a post-money valuation in the range of $100M to $500M as of Mar 31, 2020, according to PrivCo. SonderMind has acquired 2 organizations, their most recent acquisition was Total Brain on Nov 14, 2022. 

The behavioral care startup has reached a valuation "well north" of $1 billion with the close of a new $150 million Series C funding round. The raise, co-led by Drive Capital and Premji Invest, represents an evident jump over the $27 million series B announced by the startup just over a year ago.

Soondermind said it was purposefully conservative with its fundraising at the time but now has the pieces in place to pursue an expansion from 10 active states to all 50.

“We have historically raised meaningfully less than the amount that capital partners wanted to invest,” Mark Frank, CEO and co-founder, told Fierce Healthcare in an email statement. “We now believe that our playbooks are pretty well-baked and are ready for extremely rapid scaling into the definitive market leader. Additionally, the outstanding growth in existing markets and the stunning clinical results were extremely attractive to investors. Finally, revenue grew over 400% since our Series B and we've been incredibly capital efficient,” he said.
“We know therapy works. That's why we’re redesigning mental healthcare to make it easier to find and access therapy.”

Is that incredibly reassuring to hear? In a generation that is so fast-paced, it feels like we have found ourselves a map that will guide us to the most important treasure that we can possess, our mental well-being. 

I’m excited to watch this matchmaker work its magic! Are you?

Edited by Shruti Thapa