Mental Health Startup Valuation Overview With Stephen Hays

Hear Founder and Managing Partner, Stephen Hays discuss the latest trends in mental health startup valuations, public market valuation and investor sentiment in the mental health space.


During the last week of December 2020, I surveyed 150 mental health startup investors. I asked for their opinions on various issues, such as the latest investment trends in the industry as well as valuation expectations.

I’ve summarized the results in a detailed 4,000 word blog post, but below are the key takeaways.  You can read the full analysis of the survey results here.

My goal here is to share insights that founders and investors can leverage as they move into a new year of building, investing in and supporting entrepreneurs who are solving one of the greatest problems of our time around mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Although this is not a scientific survey, I believe that the results can help us understand the challenges and opportunities in the mental health startup space. I’m sharing my thoughts along with the data in the hopes that we can learn together as we all work to support entrepreneurs in this space.


  1. I was surprised at the valuation expectation results. I expected investors to want to see multiples below 10x annual recurring revenue (ARR), but the bulk of investors seem to expect valuations north of there.
  2. I found it interesting that 43% of investors surveyed are investing in the mental health space list “for profit” as their primary objective.
  3. Nearly 75% of the investors who participated in this survey said they or a loved one sought help with their mental health in the last 12 months.
  4. 41 of the investors surveyed said they did not invest in a mental health startup in 2020, but only one investor said she intends to invest $0 in this space over the next three years.
  5. More than 90% of investors expect mental health startup returns to be in line with or better than returns on startup investments in other sectors.
  6. I was surprised at which sectors within the space are most desirable and least desirable when it comes to investor appetite. See below for a comparison, by vertical.