Calm, which makes a meditation and sleep app of the same name, has tacked $27 million onto its previously announced $88 million Series B round thanks to new backing from Lightspeed Venture Partners, the investor shared in a Medium.com post.
This add-on capital brings the startup’s total backing to $143 million.
WHAT THEY DO
Cofounders and co-CEOs Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew founded Calm with the intent to build a guided meditation app. In the time since, the company has added a number of additional features to its free and subscription offering including a breathing coach feature; "sleep stories,” designed to help users fall asleep; a collection of soothing songs called Calm Music; and audio classes called Calm Masterclasses. In addition, the company has released a second app, called Checky, that helps users keep track of how many times they've checked their phone in a day.
Calm said in February that it quadrupled its revenue in 2018, and is currently on pace for $150 million in annual revenue. The San Francisco-based company also reported more than 40 million downloads of its product at the time, with more than 1 million of those being paid subscribers.
Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Nicole Quinn, who authored the announcement, specifically pointed to these numbers as well as the value-add of exclusive content like sleep stories and celebrity contributions as the major drivers of her firm’s decision.
“Old-school meditation apps would teach people the skill of quieting their minds, and call it a day. Users would learn and churn,” she said. “In addition to brilliant meditation content, Calm offers high quality content that brings people back night after night. In this model, users stay and pay.”
WHAT IT’S FOR
While Quinn’s blog post didn’t outline any new plans Calm may have for the money, the startup said in February that the funding round “will accelerate our mission to make the world healthier and happier, with international growth and an increased investment in content being top priorities.”
Calm may be the latest and loudest when it comes to venture-funded meditation apps, but it certainly isn’t alone. Simple Habit capped off a $10 million round back in November, while Headspace enjoyed a $36.7 million raise in July 2017.
Activity in the meditation app space hasn’t just been limited to funding deals either. Meditation app Meditation Studio was acquired by EEG headband maker Muse in September of last year. That same month, Headspace announced its acquisition of voice-enabled AI system Alpine.AI, furthering the former's development in personalization and conversational products.
ON THE RECORD
“Calm’s sleep stories have been listened to more 150 million times, making it already a part of popular culture,” Quinn wrote. “However, Calm’s smart, scrappy, 65-person team is just getting started. It’s focused on building a true global brand, a Nike for the mind, where international expansion has already begun. And everybody on the planet could use a better night’s sleep; 7.5 billion people makes for quite a large total addressable market indeed.”