eMerge Americas Shines Spotlight on Miami as Blazing-Hot Tech City
We recently spoke with BIP Ventures Vice President Dustin Drees and Paraj Mathur, BIP Ventures Senior Associate, about their experience with the eMerge Conference in Miami.
Today, one in 54 children in the United States has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is a 178% increase since 2000 when autism prevalence was one in 150. Early intervention therapy can help children with autism to learn important life skills, and while there has been an increase in the diagnosis rate of autism, there has not been a proportional increase in the availability of therapy services.
We are especially pleased to announce our participation as lead investor in a Series A financing round of $15.4 million for Opya, the leader in early intervention therapy for children with autism. Other investors taking part in the round include SoftBank Group Corp's SB Opportunity Fund, Divergent Ventures, and Altitude Ventures.
Opya combines exceptional clinical treatment with advanced digital technology to provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy in the family's own home, as well as speech and occupational services via telehealth, with the goal of enabling children with autism to ultimately graduate to a general education environment. Opya integrates multidisciplinary therapies (behavioral, speech, feeding, and occupational) to provide a comprehensive and coordinated care approach. The therapy includes parent and family training to ensure the entire team is working toward maximizing the child's progress.
The Opya data-driven technology platform is designed to improve the effectiveness of the autism therapies delivered and ensure that both families and clinicians at any location can have the information they need. A series of connected apps enable parents to ask questions, schedule appointments, and stay in touch with therapists, as well as transmit photos or video of their child's behavior that parents capture on their smartphones at home.
Opya currently provides in-home services in Northern California, although it plans to use part of the investment capital to hire more therapists and expand services to additional geographic areas. This is a critical next step as the number of children with autism far exceeds the number of qualified therapists. In addition to Opya's services and innovative technology, we are impressed by the leadership that includes CEO Alden Romney and Keiko Ikeda, Head of Clinical Operations. To support its continued growth, Opya also intends to use a portion of the investment to round out its executive team.
While BIP Ventures focuses on healthcare technology as a vertical, investing in a company that is working to make a difference in the lives of neurodiverse children and their families is something special. ABA therapy is most effective when it is started in early childhood, and it's Opya's mission to reach more young children with its services. We're proud to be a part of this undertaking and to help a great company grow to its fullest potential.