Over the last year, we’ve greatly stressed the importance of prioritizing mental health in Black communities due to our history of pushing those issues aside.

Now, tele-therapy company Hurdle is extending its platform to remove those barriers for Black and people of color.

According to a press release, Hurdle — an innovative digital mental health platform — has announced today that it closed a $5 million Series Seed funding round co-led by 406 Ventures and Seae Ventures with participation from F-Prime.

Hurdle plans to use this new capital to strategically-scale its tech-enabled platform to help provide support for culturally diverse populations’ behavioral health needs, especially in Black communities.

“With depression spiking in Black and minority communities, this year is an inflection point in mental healthcare. The events of 2020 present a unique opportunity for Hurdle to create solutions that work for anyone, but most importantly, for the most underserved populations,” said Kevin Dedner, Founder and CEO of Hurdle, in a statement. “With this financing, Hurdle will significantly expand its reach and be able to help corporate and payer customers cement their Diversity & Inclusion commitments by providing broader access to culturally-responsive mental health services.”

Hurdle’s unique model utilizes scientific-based tools that measure cultural responsiveness and provide appropriate training and coaching for a host of its therapists.

A press release reports the company’s approach was developed by Dr. Norma Day-Vine — Johns Hopkins professor of Counseling and Human Development and advisor to Hurdle.

Hurdle’s suite of services includes self-care digital apps (daily motivations, mediations, assessments); wellness workshops (managing stress, cultivating resilience, coping with grief); and tele-therapy (individual, couples and group therapy).

With the weight of the pandemic, social unrest, and other traumatic issues we’ve battled over the last year, Black mental health continues to be a sensitive topic that requires much more attention.

According to Seae Ventures’ managing director Jason Robart, the venture capital community has long since underserved many Black, people of color, and women entrepreneurs who have lacked access to various resources.

“At Seae, we are committed to doing something about this and are excited to support Hurdle,” he shared in a statement. “We believe the company is poised to execute on its vision to lead much-needed change in the mental health care landscape, especially for the Black community.”

In addition to dedicating its focus to underserved communities, Hurdle’s new funding will enable it to both expand its leadership team and solidify its position as being the gold standard for culturally-sensitive tele-therapy.

For more information about Hurdle, visit its website.