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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Headway, a New York-based software platform that helps therapists accept insurance and helps patients find those therapists, raised $26 million in Series A funding led by Thrive Capital.

Why it matters: Many therapists don't take insurance because of low reimbursement rates, which has built a colossal barrier to mental health access. Headway's software doesn't quite make up the difference, but narrows it significantly by automating administrative tasks like looking up benefits, credentialing, and appointment booking. The cost is paid by insurers, not by patients or providers.

  • Other investors include GV and return backers Accel, GFC and IA Ventures.

The bottom line: "The defining problem in this industry is access. When I moved to New York I tried to find a therapist who took insurance, so I could afford to see them, but I totally failed. It's not at all a problem unique to me," Andrew Adams, CEO of Headway, told Axios.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

New deals in the COVID economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

2 hours ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia denies Netanyahu met secretly with crown prince

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif at a press conference on Nov. 18. Photo: Menahem Kahana/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled in secret Sunday to the city of Neom on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli sources told me.

The latest: Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan on Monday denied the meeting took place — a signal that the Saudis may be unhappy with the leak or are at least trying to publicly distance themselves from the meeting. Netanyahu, on the other hand, has not denied the story.