Calm, the 7-year-old meditation app, says it's now valued at $1 billion

  • Calm, the popular relaxation app, backed by Aston Kutcher’s Sound Ventures and Insight Venture Partners, raised $US88 million in Series B funding – boosting its valuation to $US1 billion, making it tech’s first unicorn focused on meditation.
  • The funding round is led by TPG Growth with participation from Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and existing investors.
  • Calm said it has 40 million downloads worldwide, with one new user joining every second. The app also has over one million paid subscribers.

The practice of meditation has tripled in the US in recent years, according to the CDC, and with it comes the tech industry’s newest phenomenon: meditation and relaxation apps.

On Wednesday, meditation app Calm announced it has raised $US88 million in a Series B financing round – taking its current valuation to $US1 billion and making it the first so-called unicorn startup focused on meditation.

The funding round was led by TPG Growth with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and existing investors Insight Venture Partners and Aston Kutcher’s Sound Ventures. The round brings Calm’s total funding to date to $US116 million.

Calm, which launched in 2012, aims to quell issues of the modern age including anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It’s a crowded market with rival apps including Headspace, backed by LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and musician Jared Leto, and special gadgets like the Muse meditation headset.

More so than many other types of subscription services vying for consumer dollars, meditation and mental wellbeing appears to be an area that consumers are comfortable paying for. Calm says it has well over 1 million paying subscribers and over 40 million downloads worldwide.

Calm’s ‘Sleep Stories’ feature offers subscribing listeners bedtime stories (for adults, per the company) read aloud by celebrities like Matthew McConaughey and painter Bob Ross. It also includes guided meditations and calming sounds, like pouring rain and white noise.

“This financing will accelerate our mission to make the world healthier and happier, with international growth and an increased investment in content being top priorities,” said Alex Tew, Calm co-founder and co-CEO, in a press release.

In 2017, Calm was named Apple’s iPhone App of the Year and has since become the top-grossing health and fitness app, according to App Annie. The company is also among the startups that VCs recently polled by Business Insider flagged as poised to boom in 2019.

The company said its revenue was quadrupled in 2018, and is on track to make $US150 million this year.

Calm plans to bring its meditation tools to wider audiences and invested $US3 million last year in XpresSpa – the walk-in spa and salon stores found in many airports. Calm said it is also working with American Airlines, Sonos, and Uber.

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