A new platform, dubbed Journey LIVE, is seeking to bring a group meditation experience to home users. This morning New York-based Journey Meditation launched the app, which will enable users to stream live instructors and classes.
The news coincided with an announcement that the startup landed $2.4 million in seed funding. The new round was led by Canaan with participation from Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Betaworks, BDMI, The Fund, Nelstone Ventures, New York Venture Partners and angel investors.
The company plans on charging members a monthly membership rate of $19.95 or a yearly rate of $14.95 a month. Users also have the option of buying a lifetime membership for $399.95.
WHY IT MATTERS
Meditation can help patients manage stress, increase tolerance and build self-awareness, according to the Mayo Clinic. In some studies, the practice has been effective in helping people manage chronic conditions including anxiety, asthma and depression, according to the clinic.
WHAT'S THE TREND
Meditation is trending in the digital health space, getting a flood of investor money. Headspace, maker of a mindfulness meditation app, is one of the major players in the field. Not only is the technology being used to help consumers with their practice meditation, last year the company launched a subsidiary to focus on prescription meditation apps and other digital health tools, with its sights set on 2020 for a release.
Another competitor, Calm, developer of the meditation and sleep app of the same name, announced a unicorn valuation in February. The company raised $88 million in Series B funding last quarter to accelerate growth and expand internationally.
But these meditation apps don’t have a live stream component, an innovation that seems to be borrowed from the world of fitness. For instance, Fiit combines wearable technology and streams content through a user’s TV set. The other main example of this is Peloton’s home exercise equipment and virtual workout classes, which raked in a whooping $550 million in financing last August.
ON THE RECORD
“Meditation can be intimidating and confusing, and sticking with it is often challenging – especially on your own,” Journey founder and CEO Stephen Sokoler said in a statement. “We created Journey LIVE to allow people the flexibility and mobility they need but with the added - and essential - ingredients of human connection and support. We connect users with an experienced teacher in real-time to guide them in a simple meditation practice, building genuine, long-term connections with the practice and teachers that keep them coming back every day.”