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Boulder Care raises $36M for virtual substance treatment

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Boulder Care, a virtual provider of substance use treatment, raised $36 million in Series B funding, per TechCrunch.

Why it matters: Although the COVID pandemic has siphoned attention away from the opioid epidemic, overdose deaths have continued to rise. At the same time, stigma and other obstacles have prevented many from accessing in-person treatment.

  • Portland, Oregon-based Boulder offers virtual case management and peer coaching for opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder and prescribes the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone.

Flashback: During the first six months of 2021, more people died of overdoses than during any continuous six-month period in 2020, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

Context: The funding comes alongside a spate of similar announcements from virtual addiction treatment startups, such as:

  • Boston-based Bicycle Health, a virtual opioid addiction treatment startup that earlier this week raised $50 million in Series B funding.
  • Waltham, Mass.-based Eleanor Health, a startup applying harm reduction to addiction and other mental health issues that in April raised $50 million in Series C funding.

Details: The funds bring Boulder to over $50 million in total funding.

  • The U.S. division of Qiming Venture Partners, Goodwater Capital, Laerdal Million Lives Fund, and insiders First Round Capital, Greycroft, Tusk Venture Partners and Gaingels all participated in the round.

How it works: Boulder is covered as an in-network benefit by several insurers including Aetna and Optum.

  • Rather than requiring people to abstain entirely from drugs or alcohol — a strict approach that's seen mixed results — Boulder provides case management and medications, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

By the numbers: Boulder grew its revenue over 10 times since raising its Series A in January 2020, according to TechCrunch, and since 2017 has seen 100% year-over-year customer renewals.

The bottom line: As the pandemic continues to ravage communities, so too does the substance use epidemic, and companies like Boulder are focused on using virtual tools in an effort to help.

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