Legal Name: Advekit, LLC
Location: Los Angeles, California
INDUSTRY – Mental Health Software/Services
Size: $1.6B in 2018 (Source: “Grand View Research Inc Report”)
Projections: $4.31B by 2025 (CAGR of 11.8%) (Source: “Grand View Research Inc Report”)
Advekit is a mental health startup which aims to change how people access mental health treatment by matching clients with therapists that are best suited to their specific needs. The company currently helps users in LA, Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco find therapists and psychotherapists easily.
The web-based platform uses your zip code, preferences, and insurance information to match you to a therapist near you. The company adds value above directories by curating 3 choices to avoid confusing their users, and also by vetting all therapists on their platform to confirm that all claims made are accurate. The platform also constantly collects feedback, helping it refine its algorithm and improve the matches it provides to users.
In addition to helping users and therapists book appointments, the platform also helps users discover therapists and psychotherapists open to providing services via phone calls or video chat for added convenience. It also allows you to choose the role the therapist should play – should they passively listen, challenge and intervene, offer tips and tricks, or act as a coach/motivator? Providing this kind of filter allows those seeking therapy to find what they need more easily and conveniently.
Origin and Founding Team
Advekit was founded in 2017 by Alison LaSov and Arielle Garellek. The two met through mutual friends in 2014 and found that they had a shared passion for helping people find therapists and vice versa. They initially conceived of a way to help employees utilize their mental health benefits earlier, but realized that most employees didn’t know where to start getting therapy itself as a first step. This is where the idea which eventually became Advekit came from. Both the founders worked together to do their market research, get started on a beta, and to hire developers to build the platform.
They launched the beta in May 2018, and by the end of June, 85% of the providers listed on their platforms had been contacted by users. Achieving this kind of traction, they moved towards monetization by integrating Stripe in August and charging therapists a periodic fee. They have reached out to therapists in the markets they operate in, and have also used paid marketing to onboard new users.
Alison is an alumnus of UCLA from where she got a BA and Pepperdine University where she earned her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. While working at a school in New York, Alison was often asked to recommend therapists for her students but found it hard to explain to parents that therapy was intensely personal and not suitable to be discovered through the experiences of others. She gained considerable experience in the mental health arena working as a qualified clinical psychologist, including the management of the Teenline crisis hotline at Cedars Sinai.
Arielle has a background in education, business management, and finance. She has a BA from McGill University, and has studied Economics and Central and Eastern European studies from different educational institutions in France and in the Czech Republic. She worked in Finance at Marriot International for 3 years before becoming a Hospitality and Gaming Consultant in San Diego.
Performance and Trends
The company claims to have had a very successful beta, gaining 500+ referrals in just a few months after their launch in 2017. Since then, the company has expanded outside Los Angeles to Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Advekit has closed a pre-seed round as recently as April 2019 led by Amplify.LA and receiving participation from Ace Fund and Wavemaker 360, respectively.
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