SonderMind buys Mindstrong’s technology assets

SonderMind, a digital mental health company, is acquiring Mindstrong’s remaining technology assets in a deal that will end the latter’s six-year mental health business.

The deal was completed on Wednesday, both companies said. The terms were not disclosed.

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The acquisition comes after Mindstrong ceased providing services to patients on March 10. Mindstrong closed its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., according to a worker onboarding and retraining notice filed in January.

SonderMind will hire about 20 Mindstrong employees. The remaining 100 workers will lose their jobs.

“This is sort of the final chapter for Mindstrong’s grooming business,” said CEO Michelle Wagner, who will not work for SonderMind.

Mindstrong was founded in 2017 by Dr. Tom Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and has received $160 million in funding from venture capital firms such as General Catalyst and ARCH Venture Partners in its six years of existence. Starting as a company that used biomarkers to detect mental health conditions, it has grown into treating mental illness with smartphone-based therapies and other services.

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Wagner said it had become too difficult to cope with macroeconomic pressures and meet new investor expectations for profitability.

“Scaling up is hard,” Wagner said. “It is difficult to take measurements on an individual basis because we are human and we are all very different in the way we act, especially in behavior. [health]”.

SonderMind, which connects users with licensed therapists, said the deal will help better quantify improvements in mental and behavioral health. The Denver-based company said Mindstrong’s technology will enable it to inform physicians about care and treatment decisions and develop personalized patient care plans between visits.

According to CEO Mark Frank, SonderMind’s goal is to integrate more clinical data into its treatment plans as the company explores patient outcomes. The acquisition will assist in the development of treatment planning and inter-session monitoring tools.

“What we’re trying to do is improve outcomes and make those outcomes objectively measurable and then defined,” Frank said. “A year from now, two years from now, or three years from now, when you… ask what makes SonderMind different, we can just point to the numbers.”

The deal follows SonderMind’s $10 million acquisition of Total Brain in November, an app that can assess and measure brain function and mental well-being.

Other digital mental health companies are looking for acquisition targets in a booming economy. In September, Headspace Health, the Santa Monica, California-based digital mental health unicorn, acquired Shine, a wellness and mental health app. The move preceded Headspace’s acquisition of Sayana, a mental health and wellness company that provides personalized care.

This story first appeared in Digital Health Business & Technology.

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