Image Credits: Headspace Health
Headspace Health has acquired Sayana, an AI-powered mental health and wellness company, the company announced on Wednesday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Headspace Health says the acquisition of the San Francisco-based company will expand its ability to provide personalized self-care to its users. The acquisition comes as Headspace and Ginger merged last year to form Headspace Health, which is valued at $3 billion. The merger brought Ginger’s therapy and coaching offerings together with Headspace’s mindfulness and meditation services.
Founded in 2018 and backed by Y Combinator in 2020, Sayana leverages chat-based sessions with an AI persona that encourages users to track their moods. The app personalizes users’ experiences based on their mood trends and suggests self-care and breathing exercises. The company’s sleep app helps users get restful sleep sessions based on their mood and sleep patterns.
Headspace Health CEO Russel Glass told TechCrunch in an interview that Sayana’s apps will continue to operate for a period of time while Headspace Health integrates their core capabilities into the Headspace and Ginger experience. Once the integration is complete, the company will turn off Sayana as a separate experience and move users over into Headspace Health.
“Sayana created a unique, member-driven experience and as we think about the future of what we’re trying to do, it fits elegantly into the Headspace Health vision of a world where you can support the full continuum of care, regardless of where somebody is in the mental health continuum,” Glass said. “One of the things we’ve seen during the pandemic is just how many people continue to need support, so we have to keep focused on innovation. We have to ensure that we can automate parts of the mental health continuum and deliver personalized self-care content to people that have a need, and that’s where this acquisition is so exciting.”
Headspace Health is focused on creating an integrated experience to offer mental health help ranging from prevention to clinical care, all from one platform that is backed by AI and data science. With the addition of Sayana, Headspace Health plans to advance its capability to personalize experiences by offering help and services based on users’ check-ins.
Glass stated that Headspace and Ginger are already leveraging AI to support their team of behavioral health coaches, therapists and psychiatrists to ensure quality interactions with users, comprehensive tracking of services and close collaboration among care providers. He outlined that adding Sayana’s capability to understand a user’s needs in a completely automated way via a robust chatbot experience will destigmatize experiences and offer more personalized and effective care.
As part of the acquisition, Sayana founder and CEO Sergey Fayfer is joining Headspace Health and is taking on a product leadership role within the company.
“Since our inception, we’ve been on a mission at Sayana to put accessible self-care in everyone’s pocket,” Fayfer said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to bring together our technology, engineering and design expertise to help advance Headspace Health’s efforts to democratize high-quality, affordable mental healthcare around the world.”
In terms of the future, Glass says Headspace Health plans to continue to expand to meet the growing needs of care for mental health. The company’s goal is to be the most accessible and comprehensive platform by reducing the cost of care as much as possible. He outlined that Headspace Health will continue to innovate to ensure that it can reduce the cost of care, while keeping the quality of care as high as possible. Glass noted that this is going to require Headspace Health to be aggressive in terms of how it thinks about both inorganic growth strategies and organic growth strategies.
“We will continue to focus on the employer landscape. You’ll see us continuing to announce new health plan and provider partnerships, there will be a number of those in the coming months,” Glass said. “We’ll continue to focus on youth as an expansion area for us. You’ll continue to see us innovate. We’re spending a lot on research and development and will continue to be acquisitive as we see opportunities to add platforms like Sayana to our platform over time.”