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Backpack Healthcare Closes $14M Seed Funding Round Geared Toward Combating Youth Mental Health Crisis


This healthcare company is one funding round closer to fulfilling its goal of making mental health care more accessible.

Backpack Healthcare shares in a press release that it has officially completed a $14 million Series A funding round led by Healthcare Capital. Also participating were ECMC, Techstars, Collab Capital, Bridge Builders Collaborative, Portland Seed Fund, Hopelab, Rethink Education, Genius Guild, and Unlikely Collaborators.

Additional angel investors included Maya Ghosn Bichara and Jeffrey Walker.

Founded in 2018 by Hafeezah Muhammad, the company uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to combat the current youth mental health crisis through its app and teletherapy services, specifically honing in on those with Medicaid insurance coverage.

“The funding we have raised underscores the U.S. healthcare system’s need for more inclusive, tech-enabled solutions to tackle the growing pediatric mental health crisis,” said Muhammad, who also serves as the company’s CEO. “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.”

Per the press release, more than 40 million children in America depend on Medicaid or CHIP programs for healthcare coverage. However, only 14% of mental health clinicians accept that insurance for treatment. To help bridge the gap, Backpack Healthcare reaches out to providers that do accept Medicaid, so that care is more readily accessible for youth.

Through its AI-powered app, Backpack Healthcare also utilizes advanced algorithms to study users’ emotions and tailor treatment plans that cater directly to them. The goal is to continue to develop various technology-enhanced solutions, such as teletherapy, to provide support to young people working through mental health challenges.

What’s more, the app also provides an interactive experience for users through tools and activities designed to make therapy more enjoyable. Backpack Healthcare offers individual pediatric and family therapy along with medication management by way of telemedicine. Additionally, parents can tap into live training sessions on topics that range from cyberbullying to substance abuse.

“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 at PACE Healthcare Capital. “We could not be more thrilled to lead Backpack Healthcare’s Series A. We have so much conviction in Hafeezah Muhammad as a CEO; and no team is better suited to deliver quality, accessible, culturally competent mental health services for children like Backpack Healthcare.”

Capital from this funding round will be used to amplify Backpack Healthcare’s current technology platform, broaden its reach to more communities, and further build its teletherapy services.

At this time the company operates out of Maryland and Virginia, but thanks to the recent achievement, it is one step closer to expanding across additional states. As the company grows, it continues to bring in healthcare companies, government agencies, and schools as partners in delivering health care to young people in need.


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