SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Calm, the number one app for meditation, mindfulness and sleep, has raised $27 million in funding to diversify its offering amid intense competition.
The round, led by Insight Venture Partners with participation from Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures and singer Harry Styles, brings the $1 billion company’s total investment to $143 million. Earlier this year the Unicorn completed another $88 million round led by TPG.
Calm plans to use the new funding to increase its international growth trajectory, and further expand into areas such as self-help masterclasses, guided stretching, breathing exercises, and celebrity readings. The strategy follows the success of its ‘Sleep Stories’ narrated by celebrities including Stephen Fry and Matthew McConaughey, which have garnered more than 50 million downloads and 150 million listens, since launching last year — and helped to differentiate Calm from its growing competition.
According to Co-Founder Michael Acton, the last few years have been extraordinary for Calm.
“Much of the growth has been fueled by word of mouth, and we now have over 26 million downloads, with 50,000 new sign-ups a day. In a very short amount of time meditation has moved from the fringe of society to the mainstream,” he said in a statement.
“Our ambition is to build one of the most valuable and meaningful brands in the world,” added Co-Founder Alex Tew. “Calm is a business with a rare combination of factors: fast-growing, profitable and positive for the world.”
Currently offering over 100 hours of original audio content, Calm, which launched in 2016 helps users tackle some of the most important mental health issues of the modern age including anxiety, depression and insomnia. Its rapid growth has seen the San Francisco-based company, which generated $22 million in revenue in 2017, reach an annual revenue run rate of $75 million. Today it is on track to deliver more than three times the revenue growth for the fourth year in a row.
But with the likes of Headspace and Insight Timer nipping at its heels, Calm is looking to the future and diversifying its offering to attract a wider demographic and stop existing subscribers looking elsewhere.
According to the startup, it plans to double down on entertainment through its content to keep subscribers engaged.
“Calm needed something it could own, and that something was original content,” Acton told Inc. earlier this year. “We’re taking a leaf out of the Netflix strategy book,” he added.