Seed Funding Led By Montage Ventures and Lux Capital Will Support Continued Growth and Development of Innovative Digital Health Programs
OAKLAND, CA and ANN ARBOR, MI– Workit Health, an innovative digital program for overcoming addictive behaviors, today announced it has raised a $1.1 million seed financing round led by Montage Ventures and Lux Capital. The round includes additional funding from Invest Detroit Ventures’ First Step Fund, Wakestream Ventures (venture arm spun out of Start Garden), Impact Engine, and strategic angel investors.
In 2014, over 20 million Americans struggled with Substance Use Disorders and more than 60 million others engaged in risky patterns of use with alcohol and/or drugs, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). More than 90% are not receiving adequate treatment, often because they lack access or have difficulty navigating existing treatment options. Born out of personal experience with addiction, Workit Health cofounders Lisa McLaughlin and Robin McIntosh designed Workit to reinvent the way evidence-based treatments are delivered with effective, accessible, and affordable solutions. Workit’s mission is to bridge the current gap in addiction therapy with innovative treatment options that marry the best of evidence-based practices with user-centric design and technology. Workit intervenes and changes members’ behaviors before they result in crises.
The company’s first product is a 90-day digital program that pairs one-on-one support from professionally-certified counselors with interactive, customized digital content. The interactive curriculum continually adapts to each individual’s evolving needs and feedback.
The core of the program is based on leading evidence-based therapies for addiction, including Motivational Interviewing, Relapse Prevention Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Brief Interventions. Top evidence-based practices for other mental health issues are also incorporated, according to each user’s individual goals and needs, aided by the use of machine-learning algorithms.
“There are a lot of treatment options available for addiction, but we are still losing far too many people,” said McLaughlin, who has been in the recovery community for over 15 years. “Our goal is to lower barriers to treatment through a program that is individually tailored, protects the privacy of our users, and is accessible 24/7. The pairing of a best-in-class clinical curriculum with an experience that is welcoming and resonates with those in recovery is a combination that has never been offered before.”
Her co-founder, Robin McIntosh, brings her own experiences with recovery to Workit’s design. “When I entered recovery at 22, I was living in Southern California and it was a uniquely empowering experience,” said McIntosh. “We want Workit members to feel that sense of exuberance when they finish our program, and we’ve baked that ethos into our user experience.”
Todd Kimmel, Managing Partner of Montage Ventures, notes that he has received overwhelmingly positive feedback about Workit. “I’ve been speaking with employers, payers, and healthcare providers about Workit, and the interest I’ve received has confirmed that this product addresses a clear and essential need for consumers and employees alike. Unfortunately, there is a major, unmet need for solutions in this market and the problem is growing dramatically, but thankfully solutions like Workit are perfectly poised to make a huge impact on the market.”
Workit Health is currently participating in the Healthbox Studio in Los Angeles and is an alumnus of Seamless Internet of Things Accelerator in Grand Rapids, MI. Workit was previously a tenant of the non-profit Ann Arbor SPARK Incubator, which served as a key source of grant funding and talent support during its nascent stage. The company was also selected as the IT Sector Winner in the 2015 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. Workit’s advisors include Dr. Tom Powell, professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and expert in Behavioral Health and Addiction Recovery; Dr. John Greden, the Rachel Upjohn Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Michigan, the Director of the U of M Comprehensive Depression Center, and a leading expert on substance abuse and co-occurring mood disorders for the past four decades; Michael McGreal, former COO of Beacon Health Strategies (now Beacon Health Options, one of the nation’s leading Managed Behavioral Healthcare Organizations); and Alan Steremberg, co-founder of The Weather Underground.
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About Montage Ventures
Montage Ventures is a Palo Alto-based venture capital firm actively investing in financial services, e-Commerce, marketplaces and healthcare start-ups. To learn more, go to http://montageventures.com/ or contact Montage at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Lux Capital
Lux Capital invests in emerging science and technology ventures at the outermost edges of what is possible. Based in Silicon Valley and New York City, the firm specializes in counter-conventional breakthroughs that have the potential for truly radical change. Lux manages $700 million in assets across four funds. For more information, please visit www.luxcapital.com or @Lux_Capital.
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