With burnout, attrition, and healthcare costs rising, Betterleave acts as an extension of teams that want to provide comprehensive bereavement care and close the gap in mental health
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Betterleave, a pioneering platform that partners with organizations to improve access, experience, and outcomes, while lowering the total cost of bereavement care, today announced it has raised $2.4 million in funding. The round was led by Chingona Ventures, with participation from Bread and Butter Ventures, Vitalize VC, Wisdom Ventures Fund, Coyote Ventures and AARP. Betterleave brings a differentiated, integrated approach to grief and mental health, by offering a comprehensive digital and clinical care solution that addresses the complex challenges individuals face when preparing for and navigating bereavement.
Bereavement is a growing category of care designed to help organizations connect with and support members during the grieving process. The need for such services is evident, with more than 30M+ working Americans caring for an adult, making caregivers the fastest-growing employee population. Despite the prevalence of grief, there has been a critical gap in support and resources to navigate the professional, financial, and emotional challenges of loss. Recent national legislative changes and the impact of Covid-19 have further underscored the relevance of grief management in the workplace.
"Bereavement is one of those topics that many don't even think about until the moment they need the care. I experienced the challenges of grief firsthand when my mother passed away after a terminal cancer diagnosis," said Cara McCarty Abbott, founder and CEO of Betterleave. "Grief is complex and has a broad impact across a person's life. It's long past time that we shine a light on the mental health care gap in the workplace, so drawing from my background as an HR leader, I founded Betterleave to address the burdens that grieving individuals face, both before and after loss."
Unlike single-point solutions that primarily offer logistical services such as will drafting and funeral planning, Betterleave is a comprehensive digital health platform that focuses on navigating logistics, processing grief and driving positive clinical outcomes. It covers the entire bereavement spectrum, from pre-need to immediate need, loss navigation, and continuous grief support. The platform specializes in various types of grief, including but not limited to the loss of a loved one, pregnancy loss, pet loss, anticipatory loss and relationship loss. Betterleave also supports patients and caregivers, facilitating the seamless transfer of critical information via programmatically sent messages and family collaboration features. Hospices benefit from this platform as they are required to provide bereavement support for 13 months following a loss.
Seventy-five percent of members engaging with the Betterleave platform and providers see an improvement in their systems with access to licensed therapists, grief support groups, family counseling, as well as wellness, doula and spiritual services.
"Betterleave is reimagining what bereavement care can and should be by bringing industry-leading partners from death care, insurance, health systems, hospices, and mental health networks together to create a holistic platform," said Samara Mejia Hernandez, Founding Partner of Chingona Ventures. "The market traction that Cara and her team have been able to achieve in just over a year clearly demonstrates the massive demand for an end-to-end solution like Betterleave. We're excited to support their vision."
Betterleave not only supports individuals, but their employers too, by helping them build and launch bereavement care programs. As of 2022, about 90 percent of employers provide paid bereavement leave, but allow just three days on average. This means that many workers have to return to work before they feel ready, which affects their physical health and ability to be productive once they return. Betterleave acts as an extension of an employer and provides a comprehensive platform with analytics, communication templates and measurable outcomes. Betterleave's employer customers span industries — from tech companies and manufacturers, to school systems and financial institutions — and include notable brands Affirm, Spot, Interfor, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation and Amplify Credit Union.
"One of the challenges as a HR Professional is being able to do enough for your employees with only a certain amount of bandwidth," said Angela Shaw, Vice President of Talent at Amplify Credit Union. "Our partnership with Betterleave allows us to extend to a level of care and support as a department that we want to give to our employees."
Betterleave was launched by Abbott in 2022 after she spent more than a decade of experience in human relations and organizational psychology. She previously co-founded Code Pilot, a training and recruitment platform for hiring teams, which was acquired by AngelList. She teamed up with Betterleave Head of Product, Sam Leung, to scale product features and deliver a comprehensive bereavement care solution that combines both tech-enabled support and clinical mental health expertise.
"With so many people taking on a caregiver role or experiencing bereavement of their aging family members, people are now expecting mental health and logistics support from their employers and their healthcare providers. However, we know today there's a pretty big gap meeting needs and are facing costly outcomes," said Leung.
The team also consists of a global network of coaches and therapists with significant experience in grief and loss. The company has already gained significant traction by partnering with hospices, insurers, and hospital systems to establish bereavement care as a new category of employee benefits. It is in-network with Humana, Aetna, Cigna, United, and BCBSTX. It plans to expand its clinical care model and refine its grief training curriculum to meet the growing demand over the coming months.
Betterleave is a groundbreaking platform that provides comprehensive bereavement care support to individuals and organizations. With a focus on grief and mental health, Betterleave offers personalized administrative and counseling services, helping individuals navigate the complex challenges of grief and loss. The platform is designed to transform the bereavement care space by connecting industry-leading partners and providing a full spectrum of support, from end-of-life planning to post-loss programs. For more information, visit betterleave.com.