Over the last few weeks we’ve highlighted the fantastic work that the teams at City Light portfolio teams are doing to make the world smarter and safer. This week, we continue with three stories from companies on the frontlines of the future of work, mental health, and frontline response, including some from fellow travelers’ portfolios. The entrepreneurs with whom we are fortunate enough to partner are working on solutions that the world needs now more than ever. They are still on the front lines providing care, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing access to education and energy. We are not the kind of people or firm that gets quiet or sits on our hands when things get tough. We do not let the news or the red on the stock screens discourage us. We will be smart, empathetic, patient and thoughtful, while also being present, helpful, active and open for business (while upholding all social distancing recommendations). We will be helping our existing companies navigate their new realities, both positive and negative. We will continue to make new investments and to provide follow-on funding as warranted.
Ginger.io offers on-demand access to behavioral health coaching, video therapy, video psychiatry and self-guided content that’s clinically proven to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Even before COVID-19 began to spread across the United States, 83% of employees reported moderate, high, or extreme stress at work. Millions more have developed symptoms of anxiety and depression around the country, according to the CDC, as the pandemic has continued to create uncertainty for many in the labor force. With more than half (57%) of adults with mental illness receiving no treatment, we face a mental health crisis that can only be served by scalable, effective intervention. Ginger.io delivers fast, effective, and affordable mental health treatment to hundreds of thousands of employees of more than 200 major US corporations including Delta Air Lines, Sanofi, Chegg, Domino’s, SurveyMonkey and Sephora. Ginger members can access virtual therapy and psychiatry sessions as an in-network benefit through the company’s relationships with leading regional and national health plans. The company recently raised a $50 million Series D co-led by Advance Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, with additional participation from Cigna Ventures and existing investors such as Jeff Weiner, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, and City Light Capital. The company will use the money to build out its partner ecosystem with companies like Cigna, as well as government payers to reach more people. It’s also investing in automation and natural language processing to automate care pathways and personalizing patient care using machine learning.
With the vast majority – 84% of U.S. employees – matrixed in some way, the challenges of leading such complex teams, whether remote or not, are well known. Since the COVID pandemic began, over 60% of workers now work from home: a nine-fold increase in four months. While products like email, Slack, and Zoom go part of the way to managing a remote workforce, team communication and interpersonal relationships are often lost in the mix. It’s taxing for everyone, but particularly managers, who are not just trying to guide work, but also coach people and keep executives informed. Mighty is working to automate many of those efforts so managers can lead with insight and confidence, and teams can focus on what matters. The company’s solution pairs with your existing tools (like Slack, Asana, and email) to automatically capture what’s important to help teams stay aligned and focused on the right work. This level of collaboration and insight leads not only to better business outcomes, but to better, happier employees. Mighty recently raised a $4.3 million Series Seed round from our friends at GSV Labs and Village Global!
There are a growing number of symptom checker and screening tools that you can use at home if you suspect you might have contracted the new coronavirus that is causing the global COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these are relatively simple, including around three or four questions that basically cover the top reported symptoms experienced by anyone who has confirmed to have had the disease. Chatbot-based symptom checking software startup Clearstep has created its own COVID-19 screener, which goes more in-depth to combine symptom checking with screening for potential exposure to the virus. The reason Clearstep’s tool is designed to go a step further than most is simple: the symptoms reportedly suffered by those affected by COVID-19 include many that could indicate other serious conditions, including an impending heart attack. More effective and comprehensive screening can also help reduce the burden on an already heavily-taxed healthcare system, which seems likely to only get busier over time as the number of cases across the U.S. continues to climb. Thanks to our friends at RRE, Newark Venture Partners, and OCA Ventures for sharing the Clearstep story!
These are just a few examples of why we are convinced that tomorrow will be better than today. It can help to take a moment to recognize the amazing work being done by entrepreneurs and their startup companies. To that end, if you have inspiring stories about entrepreneurs making a difference that you would like to share, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are sure that our community of investors, entrepreneurs and change makers could use a smile and a reminder that we are not alone.