Please welcome Expressable, the online speech language pathology provider

Meet Expressable, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: Austin, Texas

Founder: Nick Barbara , Leanne Sherred, Spencer Magloff, Ryan Hinojosa

The problem: Today, 40 million Americans have a communications disorder, from lisps and speech delay to stutters and aphasia. More than half go without access to treatment, either due to cost or accessibility. For children, the most common way to access speech therapy services is through the public school system. But, students may not have access to the specific care they need, may not qualify for therapy through their school, and may not be able to afford supplemental care to address their needs outside of school. Adding to the complexity, speech pathology has remained a largely in-person service, requiring a one-on-one visit with a trained speech pathologist.

Expressable’s solution: On Expressable’s platform, parents can find an expertly trained speech language pathologist to work with their children in a flexible, affordable, digital way. In addition to its network of expert SLPs, Expressable also offers a comprehensive educational component, bringing parents into the day-to-day practice of care for their child’s communications disorder. With Expressable, parents and children can work together with a trained specialist on their own schedule, right from their own homes.

Origin story: Leanne Sherred worked alongside children and young adults for five years as a certified speech language pathologist. In that time, she noticed the lack of choice families faced when choosing an SLP, and envisioned a way for care professionals to reach more patients. Her husband and co-founder, Nicholas Barbara, worked in early-stage healthcare startups, and saw the problem as something a product-driven company could readily solve.

Why we’re betting on it: We believe Expressable will become the defacto speech language pathology provider, targeting a specific service outside the realm of most generic telemedicine providers. Available in 16 states, Expressable has seen exponential growth during the shift from offline to online in the past year, onboarding new therapists and clients every day. The founding team’s clinical experience with speech language pathology lends them unique insight into the problem space. Through the expertise of the team and the scale of its platform, Expressable is making access to care easier for families across the country.

Our take: As consumers became accustomed to digital healthcare over the past year, the opportunity for online care has only expanded. Our previous investments in companies like K Health, Medly, and Doctor on Demand have proven the viability of an Internet-enabled healthcare system. Thanks to Expressable, patients and pathologists both benefit from transparent matchmaking, increased flexibility and better access.

Further reading: “Expressable launches with millions for scalable speech therapy” via TechCrunch.

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Lerer Hippeau is the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York.