Bonfire Ventures led the round with participation from Lightbank and a group of angel investors. Including this new funding, Chicago-based Blueprint has raised $4.7 million in total funding since it was founded in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.
The idea for the company started seven years ago when founder and CEO Danny Freed was in college. His friend was struggling with bipolar disorder, and though he had access to care, he sadly took his own life.
“That was my first awareness of mental illness, and it smacked me in the face,” Freed said in an interview. “After it happened, I spent years learning about mental illness in health care–not to start any company, in fact I was building an unrelated startup–just to better understand what my friend was going through.”
Approximately 51 million Americans experienced a mental health disorder in 2019, but less than half, 44 percent, received treatment. These illnesses cost the U.S. more than $210 billion per year in direct health care costs and loss of productivity.
Blueprint’s approach is to alleviate the burden on the mental health system by providing resources for mental health clinicians to deliver measurement-based care, which largely relies on data, for patients.
The funding will be used primarily to grow the team to meet demand. Since its product launch in February, revenue grew by more than 12 times, while patient enrollment and usage increased by 800 percent.
“We have accomplished quite a bit with seven people over the past 18 months, but we want to add engineering, product, sales and marketing people, effectively quadrupling the number of people in 2021 to meet the new demand,” Freed said. “It’s been quite a ride over the past nine months.”
There is potential to grow, as just one in five mental health clinicians are using the measurement-based care model within an $8 billion mental health market, he said.
The company already partners with 100 clinics and collectively serves close to 100,000 eligible patients. Freed expects to triple that customer base over the next year.
Meanwhile, Brett Queener, partner at Bonfire Ventures, said his firm has spent a lot of time looking at the mental health space, which continues to struggle with a negative connotation.
“The trend of mental health care is not going away,” he said in an interview. “We were super impressed with Danny and it was a very easy decision to invest.”