May 8, 2024

Backpack Healthcare Lands $14M To Tackle Youth Mental Health Crisis

Backpack Healthcare, an online pediatric mental healthcare provider, has announced a $14 million Series A funding round.

Backpack Healthcare

Backpack Healthcare, formerly Youme Healthcare, is a tech company that offers an app and teletherapy services designed to provide accessible and inclusive mental health support for young individuals.

Led by founder and CEO Hafeezah Muhammad, Backpack Healthcare aims to make a positive impact on the lives of children and adolescents struggling with mental health challenges.

With studies finding that 1 in 6 children have a mental, emotional or behavioural health disorder, along with more than 2.7 million children and adolescents living with severe major depression, the company uses AI to address the youth mental health crisis. 

The company focuses on Medicaid-enrolled youth because over 40 million children in the US rely on Medicaid or CHIP for healthcare.

However, only 14% of mental health clinicians accept Medicaid as insurance.

An AI-Powered App

Backpack Healthcare is currently developing solutions, including an AI-powered app and teletherapy services, to support young individuals navigating mental health challenges.

The company works with insurance providers that do accept Medicaid to bridge the gap between the limited number of Medicaid-accepting providers and those in need.

The AI-powered app uses algorithms to monitor user emotions and match them with specialized therapists for tailored treatment plans.

Backpack Healthcare additionally provides individual pediatric and family therapy and medication management through telemedicine while providing live parent training sessions on topics such as cyberbullying and substance abuse.

$14M Series A Funding Round

The capital raised will enhance Backpack Healthcare’s platform, expand its reach to more communities and further develop its teletherapy services.

“The funding we have raised underscores the US healthcare system’s need for more inclusive, tech-enabled solutions to tackle the growing pediatric mental health crisis,” said Muhammad in a press release.

“This milestone will help us deliver on our commitment to breaking down barriers and ensuring equitable access to mental health support for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic status.”

The company also aims to continue its research and development efforts to ensure that its solutions remain at the forefront of AI innovation.

PACE Healthcare Capital led the funding round alongside ECMC, Techstars, Collab Capital, Bridge Builders Collaborative, Portland Seed Fund, Hopelab, Rethink Education, Genius Guild and Unlikely Collaborators.

“Investing in pediatric mental health is a truly unique opportunity: it is not just about driving returns, it is about nurturing brighter futures for millions of underserved children and investing in the resilience of our society tomorrow,” said Julia Monfrini Peev, Managing Partner, PACE Healthcare Capital.

In addition to the funding round, Robert Johnson, ESQ, the Chief Equity Officer at Bezos Academy, will join Backpack Healthcare’s Board of Advisors.

Feature Image Credit: Axios

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.