Venture Capital

Pediatric Mental Health Company Little Otter Lands $22 Million

SAN FRANCISCOLittle Otter, a digital mental health company to provide tools and treatment for both children and their families, has closed a $22 million Series A funding round.

The round was oversubscribed and led by CRV, with participation from Torch Capital, Vast Ventures, Hinsdale, Boxgroup, _Able, Carrie Penner Walton, G9, Springbank Collective, along with strategic angels. This new financing brings the company’s total funding to $26.75 million.

Founded in May 2020 by mother-daughter team Rebecca Egger and Dr. Helen Egger, Little Otter’s model is based on Dr. Egger’s 30 years of clinical experience and provides virtual, on-demand and integrated care with parenting specialists, early childhood trained therapists, couples therapists, and pediatric psychiatrists. Since launch, Little Otter has seen 45 percent month-over-month growth, reflecting the unprecedented demand among families at this time. Further, 85 percent of families using Little Otter have reached clinical improvements within just six sessions, demonstrating the effectiveness of Little Otter’s care model. With a holistic approach not only limited to just a single child’s mental health but that of the whole family, Little Otter ensures that the entire family’s mental health and wellbeing is cared for through proprietary assessments and quarterly mental health check-ups for each child and caregiver.

“We created Little Otter to bring mental health and wellness to every family,” said Rebecca Egger, CEO and co-founder of Little Otter. “Simply training more providers cannot address the children’s mental health crisis, and that’s why we have built a one-of-a-kind model and team with expertise from child mental health and the best minds in product, engineering, and machine learning to create a platform and build a brand that grows with families over time.”

This latest investment will fuel growth and scale for Little Otter, currently available in California, Colorado, North Carolina and Florida, slated to be completely national by 2023. The company will be investing heavily in its state-of-the-art tech and data platform with plans to become an in-network benefit. Little Otter’s expanding leadership team, including Max Helzberg, Chief Operating Officer, Sandhya Padmanabhan, Chief Marketing Officer, and Jim Inoue, Chief Technology Officer, will be charged with taking Little Otter to the next stage of growth.

Little Otter’s providers are similarly best-in-class (only 3% of applicants are hired), all are trained and overseen by Dr. Helen Egger, and each provider is given equity in the company.  Also distinctive to the company is an all-female board of directors, now including Kristin Baker Spohn of CRV, alongside Katie Reiner of Torch Capital.

“We were in a pediatric mental health crisis before the pandemic. Now, the crisis is much worse. We found that the stresses of the COVID pandemic have increased children’s risk for mental health challenges. In our study of kids 2-12 years old, we found that 80 percent of the children were at increased risk for anxiety and depression. And almost 60 percent were at risk of problems in their social skills,” said Dr. Helen Egger.  “Parent mental health has a big impact on child mental health, which is why there is a need for our family-centered care model.”

“While other mental health companies claim to offer family-centered care, Little Otter is the only provider that includes all family care under one umbrella,” said Kristin Baker Spohn, General Partner at CRV. “Little Otter’s outcomes prove that not only is this care model successful, it is the most scalable and comprehensive offering on the market, and is the future of family mental health.”