Meditation app Headspace gets $34M from Jessica Alba, Jared Leto, Ryan Seacrest

By Aditi Pai
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HeadspaceVenice, California-based Headspace has raised $34 million for a meditation app that aims to help users with stress, focus, and anxiety, according to an SEC filing.

The round was led by The Chernin Group, with participation from Advancit Capital, Allen & Company, Breyer Capital, Broadway Video Ventures, Deerfield Management, Freelands Ventures, and William Morris Endeavor as well as celebrity angel investors Jessica Alba, Cash Warren, Jared Leto, Ryan Seacrest, and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, according to The Wrap.

"We’re excited that we have been able to attract such an amazing group of investors to help us achieve our ambitious plans,” Headspace CEO Sean Brecker told The Wrap. “Our goal is to help people prioritize the health of their minds by taking proactive steps for a healthier, happier life. Mental health disorders are a global issue that need to be addressed through innovation, technology, and funding."

Headspace, available via app or online, is designed to help people learn to meditate using guided practices. Users can choose from a variety of meditation sessions that fit their mood and lifestyle. Meditation sessions vary by session length. Users are able to track their progress in the program and unlock rewards as they log more sessions. 

Headspace is one of many companies developing a meditation-focused digital health offering.

Last year, insurance company Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), which offers insurance plans to residents of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, released its first wellness app for members, called Centered, which focuses on activity tracking and meditation.

There are also a number of health wearables for the head that offer meditation tracking, coaching, or guidance.

A few years ago, Scripps' Dr. Eric Topol, one of the most well known figures in digital health, and Dr. Deepak Chopra, one of the most prominent voices in alternative medicine, teamed up to measure the effects of meditation with digital health devices. The study of 40 individuals was conducted by the Scripps Translational Science Institute with funding from the Chopra Foundation.