Meet The Youngest Woman Running A Billion-Dollar Startup | Forbes

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Published on 29 Nov 2021, 18:00
During her undergraduate years at Yale University, April Koh learned firsthand how frustrating and expensive it can be to find effective help for mental health illnesses. Her best friend and roommate cycled through multiple doctors and medications for an eating disorder, and ultimately needed a leave of absence to secure treatment; Koh, meanwhile, was dealing with her own mental health issues and struggling to find the right course of treatment.

Convinced that there had to be a better way to match patients to the best treatments, Koh teamed up with Adam Chekroud, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale who in 2016 published peer-reviewed research on the ways that machine learning could help match patients to the best care providers for their needs. That same year, Koh and Chekroud founded Spring Health, a platform that would use “precision mental healthcare” to solve the very problem Koh and her best friend had faced.

Five years later, Koh (Spring’s CEO) and Chekroud (Spring’s president) have guided Spring to unicorn status: The company is announcing Thursday that it has secured a $190 million Series C round of funding at a $2 billion valuation. The round was led by health investor Kinnevik; insurer Guardian Life joined as a new investor, while existing investors—including Tiger Global, Rethink Impact and Work-Bench—also participated.

The raise also means that Koh, 29, is now the youngest female CEO of a multibillion-dollar startup. (To achieve this distinction Koh just edges out Shippo CEO Laura Behrens Wu, a Forbes Under 30 alumna, who is six months older.)

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