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Battery Ventures Forms Behavioral Holdings, a New Cloud-Software Platform for Behavioral-Health Organizations

New company to initially leverage products from health-software companies Welligent and DATIS HR Cloud as demand for more-modern, cloud-based health services and technology surges, including amid Covid-19

Battery Ventures, a global, technology-focused investment firm with extensive experience in healthcare software, has formed a new, cloud-based platform called Behavioral Holdings to help behavioral-health and human-services organizations operate more effectively. These critical organizations, many of them community-based, include mental health centers; addiction-treatment services; intellectual, developmental-disabilities and autism services; child and family services; and special-education organizations, among others.

“We are thrilled to partner with Battery, a longtime investor in several key healthcare-software sectors. Our goal is for Welligent to become stronger than ever and be able to bring new solutions to our customers, now that we are a part of Behavioral Holdings.”

Initially, Behavioral Holdings will address these markets by leveraging two existing and complementary technology solutions designed specifically for the health and human-services sector. These products are made by Welligent, a Norfolk, Va.-based company specializing in cloud-based, electronic-health records and other industry-specific workflow software, and DATIS HR Cloud, a Tampa, Fla. provider of cloud-based, human-resources and payroll software.

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Battery has made significant, strategic investments in Welligent and DATIS, both of which will continue to operate independently under their own brands beneath the Behavioral Holdings corporate umbrella. The holding company has begun a process to further define the brand identity and promise of the combined businesses.

The platform will be led by Mark Belles, previously the chief operating officer of Relias, a high-profile healthcare software company focused on online learning and outcomes. Belles, who most recently served as CEO of media company Inside Higher Ed, brings exceptional experience and industry knowledge to his new role. In addition, Jason Parkman, a longtime technology operating executive, joins as board chairman. Parkman is the executive chairman—and, previously, CEO—of Mitratech, an Austin, Tex. maker of legal, compliance and risk-management software.

“We are so excited to work with these top executives, including the leaders of Welligent and DATIS, as we build Behavioral Holdings to deliver a compelling, end-to-end software suite for many types of health-and-human services organizations—and arm them with the more-modern, cloud-based software they need to stay competitive and operate more efficiently today,” said Chelsea Stoner, a Battery Ventures general partner who is joining the Behavioral Holdings board.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital-transformation process at many health-focused companies, spurring them to upgrade technology to accommodate new trends like telehealth and mobile access to health records,” Stoner continued. “Behavioral Holdings, as well as our core partners Welligent and DATIS, are well-positioned to benefit from this trend, and can make a big difference in the services these companies can provide.”

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The new company’s CEO, Belles, said he expects the company to grow organically and through targeted acquisitions. “As behavioral health takes center stage today, with mental-health disorders now ranking as the most-costly health conditions in the U.S., we have the ability to create efficiencies for organizations to better support this important work,” he noted. “We look forward to serving behavioral health and adjacent markets with our technology and services.”

Andy McCraw, president of Welligent, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Battery, a longtime investor in several key healthcare-software sectors. Our goal is for Welligent to become stronger than ever and be able to bring new solutions to our customers, now that we are a part of Behavioral Holdings.”

DATIS President Erik Marsh added: “Our company’s purpose has always been building better software to support the missions of organizations that impact lives for social good. These organizations provide services that are more critical than ever today because of Covid-19. Becoming part of Behavioral Holdings substantially reinforces our ability to deliver the targeted solutions these organizations need to succeed in the future.”

According to strategic advisory firm Oliver Wyman, there were more than 210,000 human-services, community-based organizations (CBOs) in the U.S. in 2017, representing a market of about $237 billion. These organizations provide a variety of mission-critical services to a broad portion of the population and Behavioral Holdings is excited to provide modern technology to support and help them grow.

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