When Alex Katz based Two Chairs in 2017, he firmly believed that in-person remedy is the simplest for behavioral well being.

Two Chairs used expertise — a proprietary matching algorithm — to seek out the absolute best therapists for its shoppers, however remedies occurred primarily inside one of many startup’s half a dozen stylishly designed clinics situated in prime areas all through the San Francisco Bay Space.

However when COVID-19 erupted and the entire world moved on-line, the corporate was compelled to rethink its face-to-face strategy. Whereas Two Chairs now operates no less than one brick-and-mortar web site in every of the three states — California, Washington and Florida — it serves, the vast majority of the corporate’s greater than 500 therapists deal with shoppers nearly.

The adaption of the remote-first remedy mannequin has probably helped the corporate to develop sooner (and definitely much less expensively) than it could have had it continued to emphasise seeing sufferers in particular person. Two Chairs says its income expanded eight-fold over the past three years.  

On Tuesday, the corporate introduced a $72 million Collection C fairness and debt financing led by Amplo and Fifth Down Capital, bringing Two Chairs whole funding to $103 million. Amplo additionally led the corporate’s $22.5 million Series B in August 2019. The debt portion, which comprised the minority of the newest capital, was offered by Bridge Financial institution.

Two Chairs is without doubt one of the newest remedy startups to lift substantial funding rounds. Final week, Develop Remedy, a three-sided psychological well being platform for therapists, payers and sufferers, raised an $88 million Series C spherical led by Sequoia.

Katz says that the first distinction between his firm and different digital behavioral well being platforms, together with Talkspace and Teladoc-owned BetterHelp, is that Two Chairs employs the “overwhelming majority” of its therapists whereas most rivals contract with their clinicians. “That allows us to pick therapists that we expect are actually prime quality, after which we are able to practice them on easy methods to use measurement-based care,” he defined. Clinicians who use measurement-based care (MBC) may enhance outcomes and cut back prices by assessing sufferers’ progress in opposition to commonplace metrics, however solely a small portion of therapists use MBC of their observe, in line with Katz.

Availability of distant remedy from unbiased clinicians, established establishments and startups like Two Chairs has been serving to remedy the scarcity of psychological well being professionals within the U.S., however Katz says that on-line psychotherapy is just not the panacea.

“Whereas it has gotten simpler to discover a therapist due to totally different digital platforms, it’s nonetheless simply as onerous to seek out the correct therapists and actually high-quality care, and that’s the issue we’re making an attempt to unravel,” he mentioned. “We nonetheless have much more demand than we are able to serve.”

Two Chairs will use its new capital to rent extra therapists, develop into new states and enhance its expertise. The corporate at present affords its providers for the worth of a co-pay to Aetna and Kaiser Permanente medical health insurance holders and expenses $226 a session for different people.

As for whether or not AI may at some point change psychological well being professionals, and due to this fact make a enterprise like Two Chairs much more efficient, Katz wasn’t so certain it’s attainable anytime quickly. “It’s such a human, emotionally pushed job, and that’s solely attainable [to do well] with an important therapist within the room,” he mentioned.