Less than five months after raising an $88 million Series B and becoming mental health’s first unicorn, meditation app Calm has now added another $27 million to that round, according to one of its backers and as first reported by TechCrunch. That takes the company’s Series B to $115 million and its overall funding to date to $143 million, according to its Crunchbase profile.
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In a blog today, Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Nicole Quinn (who also is an avid Calm user) outlines why the firm invested in Calm alongside TPG and a slew of celebrities. In that blog, Quinn calls Calm’s co-founders, Alex Tew and Michael Acton Smith, “two of the most savvy executives” she knows. We talked with the pair back in February and they shared then that Calm saw its revenue grow four-fold in 2018 to $80 million from $20 million in 2017. They also said the startup is cash-flow positive and has been for several years, a rarity in the startup world.
Calm has a couple quirkier offerings, including exclusive music for its subscribers and Sleep Stories told by some familiar voices like Matthew McConaughey or Leona Lewis.
But overall, the meditation app space is relatively hectic. Calm’s most clear competitor is Headspace, which has raised about $75 million in venture capital funding over time and is integrated with Google Home. But others have also filled in cracks in the meditation and therapy industry. Talkspace, for example, connects those needing help to a network of therapists, through a digital app. It recently raised $50 million in a Series D.
As stigma around mental health and wellness decreases, startups are feeling the change through an uptick in funding, and attention. In that vein, Calm’s follow-on cash is not surprising, and innovation within the sector is long overdue.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias