Startups

Happiness assessment app developer raises $5M for new b2b division in a familiar path

Ambitions for Happify Health include addressing resilience, mindfulness, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and mood disorders on-demand.

happify iTunes screen shots

There are plenty of startups and app developers that have emerged within the past five years in the realm of behavioral health assessment to quantify how depressed people are. It’s logical since this factor can affect adherence to medical regimens for chronic conditions, particularly staying on top of taking one’s medication. So Happify flipped the question by developing an app to assess how happy people are and using games and “science-based” advice to theoretically improve users outlook and well, happiness. It also reflects the push to improve access to behavioral health resources to a broader patient population.

Two year-old startup Happify has followed a familiar path carved by other digital health companies by adding a business-to-business unit to its direct to consumer business model, called Happify Health. Like other digital health companies, it has used data and insights gathered from its direct-to-consumer model to demonstrate value-add to commercial partners such as payers and employers.  Ofer Leidner, Happify president and co-founder, noted in a news release: “Happify Health will help companies improve the population health of their employees and members who are interested in mental health, mindfulness, resilience and emotional well-being solutions.”

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The new unit will work with these commercial partners to improve access to affordable and readily available emotional health and well-being solutions, according to the news release. Ambitions for the new unit include addressing resilience, mindfulness, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and mood disorders on-demand.

The business raised $5 million to coincide with the launch of Happify Health to support its growth and add staff. Marketplace Fund II and Hills Capital led the Series B round. This follows a $5 million round last year.

The company seems keen to follow the path of companies in the behavioral health space such as Lyra HealthGinger.io, and Sharecare, which recently acquired a Healthways unit to bolster its population health management capabilities.

One of the biggest pet peeves with digital health companies producing behavioral self-assessment software is the general lack of clinical validation. Happify Health attempts to confront that concern on its website by noting that the company is currently working with various academic institutions  to conduct and publish studies validating its approach.

Happify Health does highlight some of the findings produced from analyzing its own data. In one example, it notes that “the average Happify user experiences an increase in happiness over 8 weeks.” For users with a happiness score on par with clinical depression, happiness scores rose to 67 percent “over as little as three weeks.”