Clarity Pediatrics raises $10M for treating ADHD and other chronic childhood conditions

Raising young kids who have been diagnosed with, or are suspected of having, ADHD can be challenging. Some children with this condition may have difficulties completing school work or grow easily frustrated and throw tantrums.

Parents who try to turn to professionals for help are often shocked to learn that due to a nationwide shortage of psychologists, it can take as long as nearly a year to get diagnosed and start seeing a therapist. And that's not even mentioning the high cost of treatment, which can add up to thousands of dollars a year for out-of-network care.

Clarity Pediatrics, a chronic care startup founded in 2021, says it can reduce the wait time for receiving a diagnosis and beginning ADHD therapy from many months to a couple of days, for an average $15 co-pay per session.

The company's secret sauce is that instead of providing individual therapy to children, the startup runs eight-week group therapy sessions for parents of newly or previously diagnosed kids.

Clarity chose to offer behavioral parent training (BPT) for one simple reason: the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it for families of children ages five to 12 with mild-to-moderate ADHD. Since young kids are not mature enough to change on their own, BPT teaches parents strategies and skills to help their children focus in school and control emotional outbursts.

"There is no evidence that one-to-one therapy is effective for young kids with ADHD," said Clarity's CEO and co-founder Christina LaMontagne.

Over the last 18 months, Clarity has provided online care to thousands of families in California, and it plans to use $10 million in seed funds it raised from Rethink Impact, with participation from Homebrew and Maverick Ventures, to expend its services to other states in 2024.

Clarity is certainly not alone in trying to solve the problem of the lack of therapists for children. Startups like Brightline, Little Otter and Bend Health offer online pediatric mental health services, including ADHD.

For now, Clarity is solely focused on treating ADHD in kids ages five to 12 by providing diagnosis, therapy and prescriptions, but the company has plans to eventually offer healthcare for low-complexity pediatric chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and obesity.

Prior to founding Clarity, LaMontagne was the chief operating officer at Pill Club and a corporate development executive at Johnson & Johnson. The company's co-founder, Dr. Alesandro Larrazabal, is a pediatrician who was trained at UCSF and Stanford and was in charge of specialty services at Kaiser Permanente.

Clarity's seed round also included investments from January Ventures, Vamos Ventures, Alumni Ventures and City Light VC.

Heidi Patel, a managing partner at Rethink Impact, said she invested in Clarity because the incidence rate of chronic disease in children has tripled over the last 40 years, but the medical system doesn't have enough specialists to treat these kids.

"There's a really long wait time, and then even if you get a diagnosis, treatments are often not available, which is why 80% of kids are left completely untreated," she said. "With Clarity, you're getting a full basket of care."