Meditation app Headspace recently brought on Robert Lamvik, Spotify’s now-former director of its Premium service, and Dr. Megan Jones Bell, former chief science officer at mental health startup Lantern. Their respective roles at Headspace are head of growth and chief science officer — two new roles at the company.
“We’ve always had team of scientists, but as we go into this next stage of growth, we thought it was important to build out the seniority of the team and bring real leadership to it,” Headspace co-founder Rich Pierson told me. “It’s a really important part of what we do. With the growth side, we’ve got to that stage now where turning our free users into subscribers is a really important part of the mission as well.”
Lamvik spent almost four years at Spotify working on the music streaming company’s growth and revenue initiatives, i.e. subscription service Spotify Premium. With Lamvik on board Headspace as head of growth, the goal is to essentially turn Headspace into a subscription leader like Spotify.
“[Spotify has] basically perfected the freemium model,” Lamvik told me. “This was an opportunity to join a mission-driven startup like Headspace and an opportunity to bring people together and bridge together health and happiness.”
He went on to say that his goal at Headspace will be to educate and inspire people to learn more about the freemium product. Lamvik’s departure from Spotify is notable, given that Spotify has been rumored to be considering going public but might not take the traditional approach of filing an initial public offering, TechCrunch’s Katie Roof reported this past week.
Headspace makes money through selling subscriptions to its guided meditations. Anyone can try out the service for free through Headspace’s “Take 10” program, which offers 10 guided meditations that you can replay as many times as you want. But if you want a variety of meditations, that’s where the money comes in. Headspace has a few membership plans. One costs $12.95 per month on a month-to-month basis and another costs $7.99 per month if you sign up for a full year.
Headspace wouldn’t get into specifics about growth projections, but was willing to say that more than 14 million people have downloaded the app, and that the goal is to more than double revenue this year versus last year. Super helpful, I know.
Bell, on the other hand, told TechCrunch she was attracted to Headspace for the “broader canvas to paint on” in regards to changing the culture around mental health wellness.
“For me, joining Headspace is bringing me back to the root of my personal and professional mission — to make that broader impact,” Bell said.
As chief science officer, Bell plans to expand upon the research and evidence of the work Headspace is doing.
“We’re very keen to show measurable impact and particularly to validate that,” Bell said.
Headspace has raised $38.3 million in funding, with its most recent round coming in at $30 million in September 2015 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.