Cox Enterprises Leads $2.2M Seed Round for Atlanta-based Mental Health Startup Motivo

Rachel McCrickard

Atlanta-based Motivo, the first HIPAA-compliant video platform to connect clinical supervisors to mental health professionals, has raised $2.2 million in seed financing. Cox Enterprises led the investment round, with participation from SEI Ventures, ECMC, Great Oaks VC, The Jump Fund, Emmett Partners, Next Wave Impact Fund, and multiple angel investors.

Motivo CEO and founder Rachel McCrickard, who is also a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), said the investment round, as well as a recently formed partnership with the American Counseling Association, adds significant credibility to Motivo’s status as a first-mover in the healthcare tech space. She highlighted Cox CEO Alex Taylor’s “real interest in digital health technology” and touted the potential of their partnership.

“We fit right in line with their digital healthcare [interest]. They have such a long history and reputation, so they’re wonderful partners for Motivo,” McCrickard tells Hypepotamus. “Not just to connect us with investors and partners, but to loan their credibility to an early-stage startup that is just getting off the ground. It’s relatively new for them to invest not just money but time and attention to an early stage startup.”

As McCrickard told Hype in 2018, Motivo generates profit through three revenue streams: collecting payment from mental health professionals for bimonthly clinical supervision and paying supervisors as independent contractors, consultation fees from connecting licensed therapists with professional peers, and master class sessions.

Rachel McCrickard

In fact, Motivo has already identified a $6.5 billion dollar market opportunity in focusing on 12 healthcare industry credential types, all of which require supervised hours that would be made easier through video supervision.

The self-styled “tele-supervision marketplace” will use the funding to grow staff, specifically by adding new heads of customer product and customer success, as well as forming a sales team. The money will also help with contract acquisition, as Motivo looks to create partnerships with mental health agencies and clinics, therapist associations and universities.

This includes attention to rural areas: According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 55 percent of U.S. counties, all of which are rural, have no practicing mental health professionals. Providing an accessible path to licensure for these therapists and others entering the field is part of Motivo’s goal to help increase these numbers, particularly in communities that have been historically underserved in terms of healthcare needs.

“We see Motivo as perfectly positioned to capture the therapist credentialing market, and to identify lateral healthcare markets that would also benefit from tele-supervision and the Motivo marketplace,” Motivo board member and Cox Enterprises senior director Tim Howe said in a statement. “We are proud to lead Motivo’s round and utilize our resources and connections to help Motivo scale.”

It’s something McCrickard appreciates, admitting that fundraising to this point has been challenging, especially since Motivo is barely two years old.

“It’s not been an easy road, but I don’t know that it should be easy to get people to give you two million dollars as an early stage startup, you know? I think it’s supposed to be hard, and it certainly was.”