Mental Health + Venture Capital
Focused on radically changing the human experience by helping amazing founders build solutions for our mental fitness
Our Mental Health Startup Investment Thesis:
What is What If Ventures?
What If Ventures is investing in early stage mental health and addiction recovery focused startups. We target investments in solutions that we think could have or would help us with our own personal lived experiences with addiction, recovery and our own mental health struggles.
To leverage our experiences to facilitate the increased flow of capital into mental health, addiction and recovery oriented startups at the earliest stages.
How Big is Our Market?
- 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness & mental health issues each year
- 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6 – 17 experiences a mental health disorder each year
- 67.5% of those who need help, do not get it
- 200+ people die daily from opioid addiction alone
- ~300 million people globally suffer from depression / anxiety each year
- Depression is the leading cause of disabilty worldwide
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 –34
- The economic impact of addiction and mental illness globally is nearly $1 Trillion / year
The problem is enormous. As stigma continues to decrease, more founders are building solutions around these problems and supporting mental health venture capital.
Listen: Mental Health Market Size Overview with Stephen Hays
Stigma, shame, fear, etc. have kept people quiet about their suffering for a long time when it comes to addiction and mental health. In recent years, celebrities, politicians, business leaders, and many others have started talking about their struggles openly. When we share openly, our shame melts away and when that happens, we overcome our struggles. This increasing openness among society has led to mass stigma reduction and a willingness to not only talk, or seek help, but to build solutions around a very personal problem set. Founders are coming in droves to build in this space.
Mental Health Startup Market Insights (more on "insights" tab):
Since launching the What If Ventures rolling fund, we have received some common questions from investors. Here are our answers to FAQs.Read more
Addiction and mental illness almost took my life in 2018. In 2020, I launched an AngelList syndicate to back mental health startups. Now we are launching a fund.Read more
Mindstrong Health raised a $100mm Series-C round from What If Ventures, General Catalyst, 8VC, Foresight, ARCH Ventures, and others. In this blog post, we explain why we invested in Mindstrong.Read more
Mental health startup funding accelerated sharply in Q1 2020. What If Ventures has derived the following insights about our market in based on our database of startups, investors and deals in the space.Read more
We analyzed over 800 investors in the mental health startup space to compile a list of the 100 most active investors. We hope this resources is helpful to the broader ecosystem. Let us know who we missed!Read more
What If Ventures made our first mental health investment in January 2020. In this blog post, you can learn about the Company, Foresight Mental Health and why we invested in their series-A.Read more
We map the mental health startup landscape. How many startups are there? How much funding is there? Where should investors be looking to invest? We share our thoughts here.Read more
Pondering "what if" can be fun, enlightening, terrifying, time consuming and all together perplexing. This is what I enjoy most as a VC. I've wanted to name a fund after this concept for years.Read more
Why would we start a venture capital fund for mental health startups, focused on a difficult, stigmatized and often disregarded problem set such as mental health and addiction? The answer is both personal and proven out by the numbers.Read more