Rey Brings in $10M to Expand Mental Health Through VR, Teletherapy

Rey’s member-based platform offers digital therapy for phobias, PTSD, social avoidance and psychosis through VR and other tools.

Written by Cassidy Ritter
Published on Aug. 02, 2021
Rey Brings in $10M to Expand Mental Health Through VR, Teletherapy
Photo: Shutterstock

If you have a fear of heights, therapy to overcome this phobia shouldn’t be done over a video call from the comfort of your home. Instead, the therapy session would more effectively take place on top of a tall building through the use of VR — at least that’s what Deepak Gopalakrishna offers through his company Rey

Rey, which offers digital therapy through various modalities, including VR, announced on Friday it raised $10 million. This brings the company’s Series A round to $26 million. (The initial $16 million round closed last year.)

“We’re a technology-enabled care delivery company, where we take clinically validated technology that we know will help our members and we deploy that in sort of new and novel ways to get people to outcomes faster, while at the same time delivering a great set of [outcomes],” Gopalakrishna told Build In.

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Rey isn’t the only therapy company raising fresh capital. Between Q1 of 2020 and Q1 2021, venture capital investments in mental health increased nearly 73 percent and digital health funding increased 9 percent, according to CB Insights. Other startups raising capital in this space include unicorn SonderMind, Lyra Health and TRIPP

“There’s been a lot of folks that have done a lot to eliminate and kind of destroy the stigma of mental health, whether they are athletes like what we’re seeing now with Simone Biles ... or business leaders and politicians. Right now we’re in this perfect storm to do something new for mental health,” Mike Desjadon, chief commercial officer at Rey, told Built In. 

The need for mental health experts has never been greater as more and more people search for therapists near them. According to the National Council of Behavioral Health, 77 percent of counties in the United States are experiencing a shortage of mental health providers, and demand for these professionals is only projected to increase as the pandemic continues.

“We know that people want to make the change now,” Desjadon said. “What we’re really driving at is enabling people to do it. The time is definitely now, so we’re trying to really hit it hard and make real change.”

Today, Rey’s member-based platform offers therapy for phobias, PTSD, social avoidance and psychosis. Therapy sessions use cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, talking and clinically validated tech tools. Gopalakrishna said he plans to expand into broader treatment categories in the future.

“We look for opportunities across different types of technology. It’s not just VR; we have web and mobile technology as well,” Gopalakrishna said. “As long as it has clinical validation that it can deliver good, quality outcomes and really help people, then we integrate it into our practice.” 

Rey is only available to individuals in Texas at the moment; however, the company also offers services to corporations across the U.S. as an added benefit to employees. 

Funding from the Series A round will be used to expand Rey’s individual and enterprise platforms. Later this year, the startup plans to expand its services for individual users into seven or 10 states, such as Florida, Illinois, Washington, Maryland, Virginia and California, Desjadon said. 

In addition to expanding, the recent funding will be used to grow Rey’s member base and hire additional staff. Gopalakrishna, who founded Rey in April, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the startup’s 30-person team doubled by the end of the year. He said hiring will take place across the board, including therapists and engineers. Rey is currently hiring for several remote roles.

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