Meditation Startup Headspace Raises $30 Million To Help You Be More Mindful

Headspace, a guided meditation and mindfulness startup, recently raised $30 million from The Chernin Group, Advancit Capital, Allen & Company, Breyer Capital, The Honest Company Co-Founder Jessica Alba, actor Jared Leto, TV personality Ryan Seacrest, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and others. The plan is to hire more engineers and content marketers and expand Headspace’s content.

The size of the round has been reported at $34 million based on SEC filings, but sources close to the company have confirmed to me that the actual size was $30 million.

Headspace doesn’t disclose numbers around engagement, but in terms of user base, Headspace has 3 million users in over 150 countries who use the app in two ways: “There are those that use the product when they’re stressed out or if they’re having trouble with relationships. We have users who use the product the week prior to playing golf. That’s one user group,” Headspace CEO Sean Brecker told me. “The other uses the product on the regular routine basis. they may use it four to five times a week. It’s a routine, as people do with going to the gym.”

The startup makes money through selling subscriptions to its guided meditations. But anyone can try out the service for free through Headspace’s “Take 10” program, which offers ten, ten-minute guided meditation sessions. There’s no limit on how many times you can listen to the free sessions, but if you’re a seriously dedicated meditator, the content might feel stale over time. If you want access to hundreds of hours worth of content on everything from stress and creativity to relationships and happiness, you can select one of four plans: monthly ($12.95), yearly ($7.99/month), two years ($6.24/month) or forever ($419.95).

Headspace isn’t the only app trying to tackle mindfulness and meditation. Another popular meditation app is Calm, which has raised a little over $1 million, but I’m personally a fan of Headspace. That being said, I’m not willing to pay for a Headspace subscription. I’ve had the app on my phone for at least eight months now and have done a few guided meditations. What I’m really into are the push notifications that remind me to be mindful throughout the day. Here a couple I received over the last two days or so:

“Life is short. We can live it lost in our own thoughts, or we can choose to be present, moment to moment, watching as life unfolds around us.”

“Is a problem still a problem if you don’t think it’s a problem?”

“We can’t control everything that happens to us in life, but we can fundamentally transform our experience of those things.”

“Notifications are intended as reminders to have mindful moments throughout the day,” Brecker said. “You’ll notice Andy after many of the sessions will potentially give the user homework that basically will ask you to think about something or try to be mindful. The idea is to train yourself to be more mindful in general.”

Andy Puddicombe, a Headspace co-founder and the one who leads Headspace’s guided meditations, spent about 10 years as a monk practicing meditation and mindfulness. Having him on the team is what Brecker says really makes Headspace an authentic experience for its users. Headspace is based in London and Venice, California. It’s available on iOS, Android and the web.

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