Company brings reinvented care model to eating disorder patients in 2021, supported by investment from F-Prime, Optum Ventures, and .406 Ventures
SAN DIEGO, February 10, 2021 –– Equip, a health tech company pioneering a program that virtually delivers evidence-based eating disorder treatment to families at home, today announced it has closed $13 million in Series A financing, bringing its total funds raised to date to $17 million. The Series A round was led by Optum Ventures, with participation from new investor .406 Ventures and existing investor F-Prime Capital, who led the company’s prior Seed round.
Equip’s mission is to make gold-standard eating disorder treatment accessible to all people through Family-Based Treatment (FBT) – the standard of care which empowers families to help their loved ones through recovery. Equip builds upon this model of care by providing families with a five-person dedicated care team, including a peer and family mentor, a medical physician (psychiatrist, PCP, or pediatrician), a therapist and a dietician. Equip’s fully virtual platform allows families to arrange treatment to fit their schedules and needs, instead of upending their routines to send their child away from home to a residential facility.
“Equip is poised to raise the bar for eating disorder treatment in ways we never thought possible,” said Patrick J. Kennedy, former U.S. Representative and an advisor to Equip. “Their focus on evidence-based approaches and commitment to working closely with health insurers sets them apart from the traditional treatment landscape, which is often opaque, ineffective, and far too expensive.”
Equip was founded in 2019 by Kristina Saffran, who recovered from anorexia as a teenager and founded the nonprofit Project Heal at the age of 15, and Erin Parks, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and researcher who spent the past decade at the renowned UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center.
“Over the past 15 years, I’ve watched people cycle in and out of treatment centers before they’ve even heard of FBT,” said Saffran, co-founder and CEO of Equip. “We believe this model, which combines lived experience and clinical expertise, provides the hope that recovery is possible and worth the hard work.”
Currently, 80 percent of the 30 million Americans who struggle with eating disorders never receive treatment, and less than one percent have access to FBT, which is widely recognized as the leading evidence-based treatment.
“From those who have had access to FBT, we’ve heard loud and clear that they wanted mentorship, a coordinated care team, and treatment at home so they could build a life worth living to drown out the eating disorder voice,” said Parks, co-founder and CCO of Equip. “So after years of plugging holes, we decided to build this model that we knew we needed to exist.”
The company has launched in California, New York and Texas, and intends to use the funding to expand its geographic reach and deliver care to additional patient populations in 2021. The company will also use the proceeds to continue building its clinical team, develop its technology platform, and help the business scale as they launch programs with several insurance partners.
“The virtual approach to high-quality eating disorder treatment being pioneered by Equip has the opportunity to better enable families to support recovery,” said Laura Veroneau, partner at Optum Ventures. “We’ve never seen a team with this combination of lived experience and clinical expertise, and we believe Equip will be the much-needed change agent in eating disorder treatment.”
Equip delivers modern eating disorder treatment through family-based care that promises lasting recovery at home. Created by experts in the field and people who’ve been there, Equip provides each patient with a five-person dedicated care team including a therapist, dietician, physician, and peer & family mentor.
Our vision is to equip every family with effective tools to confidently overcome eating disorders in a way that is accessible and affordable. We believe Equip is a better alternative to the status quo treatment options and we eliminate the various obstacles families face in treatment today.
For more information, visit www.equip.health.
About Optum Ventures
Optum Ventures is the independent venture fund of Optum, a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone, and part of UnitedHealth Group. Optum Ventures invests in digital health companies that use data and insights to help improve consumers' access to health care services and how care is delivered and paid for, and that make the health care system more reliable and easier to navigate. For more information, visit www.optumventures.com.
About F-Prime Capital
F-Prime Capital is a global venture capital firm investing in healthcare and technology. For the past 50 years, our independent venture capital group has had the privilege of backing great entrepreneurs building groundbreaking companies. With over two billion dollars under management and a global portfolio of nearly 200 companies, we champion those dedicated to creating positive change in the world.
F-Prime is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with offices in London, UK and San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit www.fprimecapital.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About .406 Ventures
.406 Ventures is a Boston-based early stage venture capital firm investing in healthcare and enterprise technology companies founded by visionary entrepreneurs. The firm was founded in 2005 and has over $1 billion under management across four core and two opportunity funds. .406 Ventures typically leads, or co-leads, early stage investment rounds centered around a deep thesis. .406 Ventures’ healthcare theses focus on systems, technologies, and services that improve clinical delivery, with investments in companies such as Abacus Insights, AbleTo, AristaMD, Heartbeat Health, Hurdle Health, Iora Health, Nomad Health, Redox and WelbeHealth. Learn more at www.406ventures.com.
Equip Leadership and Advisors
Equip’s leadership and advisory team is made up of leading experts in eating disorder treatment, advocacy and policy, behavioral health, and company building.
Martha Temple, Former CEO, Optum Behavioral Health
Patrick J. Kennedy, Former Congressman + Founder, The Kennedy Forum
Solome Tibebu, Founder + CEO, Cognific and The Upswing Foundation
Susannah Fox, Researcher + Former CTO, HHS
Daniel LeGrange, PhD, Director of Eating Disorders Program + Professor, UC San Francisco
Evelyn Attia, MD, Director of the Center for Eating Disorders, New York-Presbyterian Hospital
John Simon, Managing Director of Sigma Prime Ventures + Founder of Ventureforgood
Director of Marketing, Equip