Motivation, self-care, and mindfulness-promoting app Shine raised a $5 million Series A led by Comcast Ventures the company announced today. Betaworks, Felix Capital and the New York Times also participated in the round.
Shine previously raised a Seed round in May 2016 led by Flybridge Capital Partners with participation by Comcast and BBG Ventures of an undisclosed amount. The company then picked up $2.5 million in a round led by New York City-based Eniac Ventures and Betaworks in April 2017.
Shine’s latest Series A round brings its aggregate funds raised to more than $8 million since its inception.
Launched in 2016, Shine’s founders Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi aimed to motivate individuals with a text service, Shine Text, that sent motivational quotes and suggestions to its subscribers. By signing up with their name and phone number online, Shine Text subscribers enter in their zip code, birthday, and set their preferences to receive texts at a certain time of day. Subscribers receive texts with self-care or thought-provoking quotes, suggestions, and articles, mainly directed toward millennial professionals.
In 2016 the company reportedly launched a secondary paid life coaching feature for the Shine service called Shinevisor in October 2016. The one-on-one personal advice feature, which cost $15.99 weekly, is no longer offered, however.
Last year, in an effort to monetize its service, the company expanded its platform to the app store. Though the app itself is free to download, its full features are available for $7.99 monthly. The iOS app allows users to access audio files for meditation, storytelling and motivational talks. Shine Text integrates with SMS, Facebook Messenger, Kik and the Shine app.
According to the company, as of April it recorded 2 million users in 189 countries. The funding will be used to grow the Shine team and product.
Mobile wellbeing apps have seen big success (Headspace) and difficulty (text therapy). It will be interesting to watch Shine try to carve out a niche of its own inside of a space that partially helps us deal with our phone addiction.
Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias
Editorial Update: Crunchbase New previously reported that Shine raised $750,000 in its Seed round. This was incorrect, the amount was undisclosed
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