UNITED STATES, February 6, 2019 (Business Insider): On Wednesday, meditation app Calm announced it has raised $88 million in a Series B financing round -- taking its current valuation to $1 billion and making it the first so-called unicorn startup focused on meditation. The round brings Calm's total funding to date to $116 million. Calm, which launched in 2012, aims to quell issues of the modern age including anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It's a crowded market with rival apps including Headspace and special gadgets like the Muse meditation headset.
More so than many other types of subscription services vying for consumer dollars, meditation and mental wellbeing appears to be an area that consumers are comfortable paying for. Calm says it has well over 1 million paying subscribers and over 40 million downloads worldwide. Calms' Sleep Stories feature offers subscribing listeners bedtime stories (for adults, per the company) read aloud. It also includes guided meditations and calming sounds, like pouring rain and white noise. In 2017, Calm was named Apple's iPhone App of the Year and has since become the top-grossing health and fitness app, according to App Annie.