Seeking to reimagine the mental and behavioral health care experience, a new company is setting up shop in the Garden State, ready to expand its care team and serve families in need of pediatric behavioral health services.
Handspring announced the closing of its $6.2 million seed round on May 9, with financing co-led by Newark Venture Partners and NextView Ventures with participation from 25madison Ventures, Arkitekt Ventures, Quantum Angels and other prominent health care operators.
The funding will help Handspring accelerate the expansion of its clinical team through hiring, launching modern facilities here, investing in technology and patient experience, setting up payor partners and expanding into new markets, according to the company’s announcement.
The NVP office in Newark will serve as Handspring’s virtual headquarters. The company was founded in 2021 by Sahil Choudhry — a resident of Jersey City — and Kwasi Kyei.
Choudhry and Kyei both share a background as digital health investors. With Handspring, they’re working to expand options for care with an omnichannel experience that offers greater accessibility to care, and looks to empower children.
“We are living through a pandemic of mental and behavioral health disorders among children and adolescents,” Choudhry said in a statement. “Today, 1 in 5 children in the U.S. have a diagnosable mental health disorder. The health care system is failing our children, as systemic barriers have made it impossible for families to find care that’s accessible. When looking for care, families often face unaffordable rates that are not covered by insurance, or waitlists that are several months long.”
Many new care options in the field are virtual-only these days, according to Choudhry, which is not conducive to all treatment plans. Many children, he said, “need more hands-on, in-person attention.”
Newark Venture Partners Principal Joanne Lin highlighted the benefits that Handspring can offer.
The company “not only increases accessibility, availability, and affordability for families and children seeking mental health care — but what makes it truly different is that it stands to improve outcomes for its patients,” she said. “Its hybrid approach and ability to utilize patient and provider data, position it to be among the next wave of breakthrough mental health companies.”