Equip, a provider of virtual, evidence-based eating disorder treatment in the U.S. has raised $58M in Series B funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $75M. The Chernin Group (TCG), led the round and was joined by Tiger Global and General Catalyst, as well as existing investors F-Prime Capital, Optum Ventures, and .406 Ventures. Katie Couric Media invested alongside American soccer champion Alex Morgan – with Couric joining as an advisor – to share their varied lived experiences and shift the cultural narrative around body image, mental health, and eating disorders.
Nearly 30 million Americans across all races, genders, body sizes, and sexual orientations will have an eating disorder in their lifetime. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to exacerbate the issue – throughout the past year, eating disorders surged 70% and hospital admissions have doubled. Despite their prevalence, only 20% of those struggling receive treatment, and even less have access to evidence-based treatment.
“Treatment for eating disorders is grossly inequitable,” said Kristina Saffran, CEO and co-founder of Equip. “Eating disorders are the second deadliest mental illness, affecting one in 10 Americans – yet the stigma attached to the disease prevents tens of millions of people from getting help. Equip’s mission is to ensure that every single person has access to treatment that works. That starts with shifting the conversation around what eating disorders are and who they impact.”
Equip, which was founded by nonprofit veteran Saffran and clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Parks in 2019, was built with a mission to ensure that everyone with an eating disorder has access to gold-standard care. Equip’s care model is rooted in Family-Based Treatment – which recognizes eating disorders as brain disorders that require comprehensive support to fully heal – and is built by a powerful combination of clinical and lived experience. Equip’s clinical outcomes show that, after eight weeks of treatment, 71% of patients report a reduction in eating disorder symptoms and two-thirds report improvements in mood. In that time, 96% of parents report feeling more confident in caring for their child with an eating disorder.
Since launching in 2020, the company has expanded to 40+ states and is in-network with 10 major commercial health insurance plans, as well as Partnership HealthPlan, offering Medicaid coverage to underserved communities. In 2021, demand from patients and families for Equip’s care grew 10x. This investment round will allow Equip to scale its treatment services, expand treatment to all 50 states, broaden insurance coverage – including Medicaid payers – and launch new care offerings in 2022.
“Eating disorders are a major societal issue that need immediate attention, more funding from private and public sources, and more solutions for patients and families,” said Jesse Jacobs, co-founder and partner at The Chernin Group. “We believe Kristina, Erin, and Equip are at the forefront of helping to democratize accessible, effective eating disorder care at scale through a digital-first solution.” Jacobs will join Equip’s board of directors along with Mary Ann Tocio, One Medical board member and former president and COO of Bright Horizons.