Mental Health Company TARA Mind Raises $3 Million

By Annie Baker • Apr 19, 2023

TARA Mind – a mental health company that enables safe and affordable access to psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) – announced it raised $3 million in pre-seed funding from Red Cell Partners, an incubation firm building and investing in technology-led companies that bring revolutionary advancements to healthcare and national security.

TARA Mind is emerging from stealth as over 70 million Americans grapple with mental health conditions and suicide ranks as a leading cause of death in the United States. And more than $280 billion has been spent on mental health services in 2020 – more than 50% of individuals with a mental health condition did not receive any treatment last year. It has been decades since antidepressants entered the market and even though these drugs are effective for some, they are ineffectual for the nearly 1 in 3 individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) who suffer from treatment-resistant depression (TRD). This problem was exacerbated by misaligned incentives, a global pandemic and deep-rooted stigma surrounding psychedelics and other alternative therapies.

The funding round will be used for fueling the company’s mission to address the systemic issues of accessibility and affordability as well as mounting care quality and treatment efficacy hurdles. To achieve this, it is building an industry-leading network of vetted PAT providers across the US and abroad and is developing proprietary digital measurement-based care tools designed to ensure safety, optimize outcomes, and trigger early interventions when necessary.

These tools will be exclusively available to its global provider network and will underpin the data-driven measurement framework that supports value-based reimbursement for PAT by both employers and payors. And the company is also working with early-adopter employers to add the TARA Mind network as a supplemental benefit to existing health plans, thus removing health equity barriers while driving ROI for the employer through significant reductions in employee medical costs, absenteeism, and turnover.

To address issues of safety and efficacy, the company has codified The TARA Mind Way, a set of standards established in partnership with clinicians to guarantee the availability of wraparound services for clients. And this clinician-guided process – collectively known as PTIM – ensures that individuals who receive treatment through the TARA Mind Provider Network are receiving care that incorporates Preparation, Treatment, Integration, and Monitoring, which are the well-established hallmarks of effective and safe psychedelic treatment.

The Public Benefit Corporation is led by TARA Mind CEO and Co-Founder Marcus Capone, a veteran Navy SEAL who following 13 years of active combat duty returned home to face his own battle with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and depression. And Capone spent years undergoing traditional mental health treatments but nothing worked. In 2017, he turned to PAT as a last resort.

Immediately following his PAT treatment, Capone was overcome with the desire to share his experience with others in need. And this determination to help people heal led him and his wife to found VETS (Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions), a pioneering 501(c)(3) organization on a mission to end veteran suicide. Inspired by the success of VETS and recognizing the need to expand access to PAT beyond the veteran community, the concept of TARA Mind took root.

In service of this mission, TARA Mind has convened a roster of renowned medical advisors to help define, iterate, and advance the standard of care for PAT. And they include Sandhya Prashad, MD, Founder and President of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians, Psychotherapists, and Practitioners; Jerry Rosenbaum, MD, Harvard Medical School’s Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry; Nolan Williams, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; and Rachel Yehuda, PhD, an Endowed Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience of Trauma at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.


“Far too many people are being failed by our country’s outdated approach to mental health care. By expanding safe and equitable access to alternative psychedelic therapies, TARA Mind aims to meet this urgent societal need and shape the future of mental health care in America.”

– Red Cell CEO and TARA Mind Co-Founder Grant Verstandig

“I know what it’s like to feel as though you’re out of options. My experience with psychedelic-assisted therapy changed my life. People need to know that even on their darkest days, there is hope.”

“After millennia of ceremonial and individual use, there is growing appreciation for the potential of psychedelic medicine to treat even the most devastating of psychiatric and related conditions. But the industry is still in its infancy. At TARA Mind, we aren’t being guided by ‘the buzz’ around psychedelics, nor are we chasing a quick profit from lingering loopholes in a post-COVID world. Rooted in our commitment to science and sound clinical practices, we are diligently building the scaffolding for the safe, affordable, long-lasting use of psychedelic-assisted therapy in America.”

– TARA Mind CEO and Co-Founder Marcus Capone

“I am optimistic that the nascent psychedelic industry will provide needed new tools for treatment, but there remain significant uncertainties about delivery, scalability, and access to quality care when that time comes. TARA Mind is poised to address these challenges as it works to become a responsible and unifying voice that helps to establish clinician-informed standards of care for these emerging alternative therapies and to enable, above all else, the safe and equitable access to psychedelic medicine that so many in our country desperately need.”

– Dr. Jerry Rosenbaum