See the presentation a new mental health startup used to break through a crowded field and convince VCs to invest $24 million

Brightside pitch deck
  • Brightside, a mental health startup that treats anxiety and depression, raised $24 million.
  • It uses cognitive behavioral therapy and medication management to treat patients experiencing severe mood disorders.
  • The mental health industry continues to be a hot area of investment for Silicon Valley VCs.

After more than a year of stress and isolation, many Americans are in desperate need of mental-health care.

However, one entrepreneur felt the growing group of startups hoping to solve Americans’ depression and anxiety didn’t quite go far enough.

So Brad Kittredge in 2017 cofounded Brightside, a mental health startup that offers virtual cognitive behavioral therapy, medication management, and self-care advice, for patients experiencing severe mood disorders rooted in depression or anxiety. On Thursday, it raised $24 million in Series A funding led by ACME Ventures. Triventures and Bullpen Capital also participated in the round. The company declined to disclose its valuation.

Brightside’s virtual-only approach was new when Kittredge started the company four years ago, but telemedicine has effectively upended mental-health care since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Other virtual care companies Better Help, Cerebral, and Talkspace have all benefited from pent up demand flocking online.

Loneliness, isolation, and stress have catalyzed soaring demand for mental-health services just as therapists and psychiatrists were shutting their doors, so startups like Lyra and Ginger stepped up to work with companies to offer virtual services to their employees. 

Kittredge wanted to take a different approach.

The former 23andMe executive bypassed employers to bring care directly to patients, who pay for Brightside out of pocket through a monthly subscription. Brightside currently does not accept insurance. Over time, Kittredge said that he envisions Brightside working alongside the traditional healthcare system by accepting insurance or partnering with hospitals and primary care clinics.

“It was important for me to solve, my father managed depression for his whole life and it took him a decade to find the right treatment,” Kittredge said. “Both of my cofounders lost parents to suicide. This was a growing crisis even before COVID.” 

Brightside offers patients access to trained therapists and prescription delivery for a monthly fee, Kittredge said. The app’s behavioral management tools like diet and mood tracking are free for all patients.

After answering an intake form, Brightside’s technology produces a recommendation for the best course of treatment for the patient based on information the startup’s collected on treatments and outcomes from previous patients. That’s partly how Brightside is able to go a step further in treating more severe cases of anxiety and depression than some of the other startups currently offering mental-health care, Kittredge said.

“I think the reason people shied away from it is that it’s hard,” Kittredge said of developing a virtual treatment for severe mood disorders. “It’s real-life challenges that are complicated and complex to treat.”

Kittredge said Brightside is currently studying the effectiveness of its approach among patients and the results of a clinical study will be released soon. Brightside will ideally participate in additional studies going forward. Its newest round of funding will help achieve that goal, he said.

Brightside shared the pitch deck it used to raise its Series A with Insider. It omits confidential financial and proprietary information.

Here is the presentation Kittredge and his team used to raise $24 million for Brightside, a virtual mental-health care startup.

Brightside is a mental-health care startup that offers patients medication management and cognitive behavioral therapy for a monthly fee, plus free lifestyle modification tools.


Cofounder and CEO Brad Kittredge started the company with mental health expert Dr. Mimi Winsberg and digital health expert Jeremy Barth. Kittredge said the team has tripled since January and includes leaders from other technology startups and digital health companies.


Brightside wants to offer fully personalized treatment plans for its patients instead of the current system that treats depression and anxiety treatment as one-size-fits-all, Kittredge said. It has created roughly 1,000 unique treatment plans to date.


Patients complete an intake form that helps Brightside’s technology determine what the best course of treatment is. The software uses data gained from previous Brightside patients and their healthcare outcomes.


Brightside uses the Unified Protocol for therapists, and patients are given active treatment plans where they check off tasks during the week during a 10-week program. The proactive nature of treatment could produce better results than talk therapy alone for some patients, Kittredge said.


Patients also have access to tracking tools for diet, sleep, and other lifestyle factors that may be contributing to their experiences with depression or anxiety. The tools are free and available to users that are not using Brightside’s monthly subscription products.


If a patient is prescribed medication that can be shipped directly to them, a team of Brightside medical professionals work to monitor the patient’s progress and adjust the medication as needed.


Brightside currently focuses on patients with severe depression, anxiety, and other associated mood disorders. It is available in 46 states but plans to be available nationwide before the end of the year.