Mental health continues to be a top concern for millions of Americans. That includes children’s mental health, which is the single most concerning topic for U.S. parents, according to recent data from Pew Research.
Evidently, investors and entrepreneurs have taken notice. Mental health is prominently featured on this year’s a16z Marketplace 100 list, an annual ranking of hot startups and private companies, published by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Among the overall 100 startups comprising the rankings, four operate in the mental health field, which helped make mental health the fastest-growing category. That may be due to the increased focus on mental health and overall wellness in the wake of the pandemic.
Nearly one-third of U.S. adults had symptoms of depression or anxiety in December 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is triple the number in 2019. As such, mental health startups are evidently hot.
The four startups that made the Marketplace 100 list this year were:
- Headway (No. 56)
- Sondermind (No. 80)
- Alma (No. 82)
- Path Mental Health (No. 90)
These startups are following in the paths of other mental health-focused startups that have since become more established, such as Calm or Talkspace.
An interesting aside: While the mental health category is the fastest-growing segment of the Marketplace 100, it does appear to be cyclical. “While the general trend for mental health marketplace spend has been rising, there is some seasonal activity. Like gym memberships, spending on mental health marketplaces spikes in the first quarter (specifically, in January), then falls back into a more normal growth trend for the rest of the year,” a corresponding release from Andreessen Horowitz reads.
Among other key takeaways: 34 companies are on the list for the first time this year. And while last year’s list saw 19 companies from the previous year “graduate”—meaning they had an IPO, merged with a SPAC, or were acquired—only four companies from 2022’s list had an exit: Wag, Getaround, TCGPlayer, and YourMechanic.
Geographically, the biggest concentrations of startups on the list were in or around New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Austin, and Boston.
Finally, here are the top 10 companies on the list for 2023:
- Instacart (San Francisco)
- Valve (Bellevue, Washington)
- Viagogo (San Francisco)
- SeatGeek (New York City)
- Turo (San Francisco)
- StockX (Detroit)
- RockAuto (Madison, Wisconsin)
- GOAT (Los Angeles)
- Whatnot (Los Angeles)
- Evolve (Denver)
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