After an $88m funding round, Calm is now the first mindfulness unicorn

Calm raised $88m in Series B funding to become the world’s first mental health unicorn.


February 6, 2019

Calm, the sleep, meditation, and relaxation app, announced it raised $88m in a Series B funding round at a $1B valuation.

According to the CDC, US meditation has more than tripled from 2012 to 2017, and companies like Calm and Headspace have become major players in the $4T health and wellness industry. 

As the digital race to Zen heats up, this new round should give the company’s co-founders Alex Tew and Michael Acton Smith peace of mind: The new round makes Calm the world’s first mental health unicorn. 

The Chakras are finally aligning

Like the $30B health and fitness industry, back before Jane Fonda pioneered the home gym obsession in the ’80s, mental health tools such as meditation apps were long poo-pooed as woo-woo hippy mind tricks.

Even when Calm started around 7 years ago, the company had a hard time convincing investors: “People thought we were crazy,” said Smith. “Then, about 18 months ago, the shift began.”

The co-founders noticed people were finally becoming more open about mental health — and by the end of 2017, Calm relaxed into a comfortable lead, increasing revenue 4x in 2018 and becoming the largest mindfulness app on the market.

Their secret? Reading bedtime stories to adults

When asked what sets Calm apart from the deluge of mindfulness apps, Smith said it could best be boiled down to the company’s “accessible and relatable” branding.

Now, the company has its sights set on becoming the “Nike of the health and wellness industry.”

Calm has grown rapidly to over 40m downloads worldwide, which equates to a new user joining every second.

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