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Growth-minded Talkiatry talks acquisition, provider strategy at HLTH

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Virtual mental health provider Talkiatry is fundraising and looking at acquisition targets as it eyes potential expansion, CEO Robert Krayn tells Axios at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas.

Why it matters: The market downturn has turned many behavioral health startups into would-be assets for later-stage companies financially positioned to buy them.

Details: Based in New York, Talkiatry is perusing potential assets as it looks to "expand across the care continuum," Krayn said.

  • Talkiatry last raised in 2022, collecting a $17 million follow-on to the $20 million in Series A funds it raised in 2021. Total funding is $115 million.

Meanwhile, the pressure continues to weigh on a dwindling supply of behavioral health providers managing a growing national mental health crisis.

The intrigue: Talkiatry has a multipronged strategy for recruiting and retaining its providers, all of whom are W-2 employees, Krayn says.

  • "When we started, our goal was to be the best place for psychiatrists to work in the country," Krayn says. "Being full time allows people to advance their careers because of the clinical pipeline we have."
  • Last week, Talkiatry's medical affiliate was officially accredited as a provider of continuing medical education (CME), so the company can give employees access to relevant mental health learnings, Talkiatry chief medical officer Georgia Gaveras told Axios during the meeting.
  • The company also has "robust mentor systems," Gaveras said, that help providers feel a sense of community at work.

Be smart: Behavioral health remained the top-funded clinical indication among health tech startups in the third quarter of this year, with nearly $1 billion deployed year to date, according to a recent Rock Health report. Recent deals include:

  • This month, mental health crisis care provider Connections Health Solutions raised $28 million in Series B financing.
  • Also this month, Headway, a startup that links people with in-network mental health providers, collected $125 million in Series C funding at a $1 billion valuation.
  • In September, school-focused telemental health startup Cartwheel raised $20 million in Series A funding.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note Talkiatry is perusing assets across health care, not specifically into pediatric or substance use disorder.

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