By Somesh Dash, Jules Maltz, and Jake Storm
Today, IVP is thrilled to announce an investment in Lyra, a leading mental health benefit provider that delivers top-quality care for the U.S. workforce, supercharged by technology. Lyra enables employees and their families to find personalized care in just a few clicks and receive best-in-class treatments to combat the full spectrum of mental health conditions via its curated provider network. IVP is the lead investor in Lyra’s $75M Series C financing, and Somesh Dash will join the company’s board of directors. We look forward to partnering with the Lyra team and other investors including Breyer Capital, Glynn Capital, Greylock Partners, Meritech Capital, Tenaya Capital, and Venrock as the company continues to scale rapidly.
We have been incredibly fortunate to invest in several paradigm-shifting Enterprise and Consumer companies, including AppDynamics, Crowdstrike, Discord, Glossier, HashiCorp, MasterClass, Rubrik, Slack, Snap, Twitter, and UiPath. Just as these companies transformed their respective markets, we believe Lyra has the potential to fundamentally change the mental health industry. Mental health is one of the biggest challenges of our time, and we’re excited to back a company making a difference in this space.
Here is why we invested:
Massive, Underserved Problem
Everyone is affected by mental health challenges–whether we deal with stress and burnout, live with a diagnosable condition like depression or anxiety, or have close friends and relatives with a mental health condition. To quantify, approximately 50 million people each year in the U.S. suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition. That’s roughly one out of every five Americans. Unfortunately, only one in seven of those who are suffering will receive effective treatment, with the remainder of cases either undiagnosed or treated ineffectively. Receiving treatment can truly be a life or death scenario for many individuals. Current solutions are ineffective, difficult to find, and time-intensive, with long wait times to see a provider. Compounding this problem is a misplaced mental health stigma that continues to persist; deciding to get help is a very difficult decision. The inability to then find a trained coach or therapist with availability is a failure of the current health care system that leads to high rates of abandonment. Moreover, symptoms tend to intensify if untreated, which makes things worse for companies and their employees.
Enter Lyra. Lyra works with employers to provide immediate access to outstanding and affordable mental health care. And it’s working. About 83% of Lyra members see significant improvement or complete recovery, versus18% in traditional Employee Assistance Programs. Customers even credit Lyra with “saving lives” within their companies. As a result, Lyra has seen industry-leading engagement rates, with 7x more employees receiving effective care versus the status quo. Lyra is building something truly special and the offering is hitting the mark when it comes to providing individuals immediate access to exceptional and affordable mental health care. Mental health matters and we’re proud to back a mission-driven company helping to solve a critical, pervasive problem for all companies. Furthermore, we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to destigmatize mental illness and believe Lyra is at the forefront of this movement.
Significant Traction with Leading Enterprises
At IVP, we look for startups that are scaling in hyper-growth mode, and Lyra has gained Enterprise traction as rapidly as some of our best-performing investments. What’s more impressive, Lyra has been able to do this with remarkable capital efficiency relative to other companies at a similar scale. This speaks to the strong product-market fit. Given the focus on large Enterprises, Lyra took years to assemble a network of quality, curated providers prior to building out its customer base. Lyra has attracted an impressive list of blue-chip customers including Amgen, eBay, Genentech, NetApp, ServiceNow, Uber, and many others. Lyra’s key differentiation is its focus on evidence-based therapy. Great clinical outcomes are the result of science-based therapies for clinical areas as varied as anxiety, sleep, addiction, and suicide. According to several customers, Lyra has become a “central, irreplaceable piece” of their healthcare strategy, resulting in a successful “Land and Expand” model that has the potential to achieve significant scale in the coming years.
Visionary Management Team with Top Tier Investors & Advisors
Lyra is led by a world-class, multidisciplinary management team and board. We had the privilege of getting to know Lyra’s CEO, David Ebersman, when he was CFO of Facebook in its critical growth years. His track record and reputation speak for themselves. More importantly, we were struck with how personal this cause was for David. The mission of improving mental health outcomes is the compass by which he makes all business decisions to guide Lyra. David has also attracted a world-class management team to Lyra, and the group’s combined experience includes significant roles in technology and healthcare such as Genentech, Google, Kaiser Permanente, and UCSF. Lyra has scaled rapidly since inception, and we look forward to working with the entire team in their next stage of growth. We are beyond grateful to partner with Lyra and hope we can collectively help solve one of the largest global health issues of the 21st century.
Somesh Dash, Jules Maltz, and Jake Storm are Investors at IVP, a later-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA.