SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, February 6, 2019 (Venture Beat): Meditation and mental health-focused startup Calm has raised $88 million in a series B round of funding led by TPG Growth, with participation from Insight Venture Partners, Ashton Kutcher's Sound Ventures, and Creative Artists Agency (CAA). This takes Calm's total funding past the $115 million mark and elevates the San Francisco-based company to the prestigious "unicorn" club -- it now has a valuation of exactly $1 billion. Founded in 2012 by Michael Acton Smith, Calm is one of a number of "mindfulness" startups to attract the attentions of VCs in recent times. In the past year alone, we've seen Shine raise $5 million for its motivational messaging app, while Simple Habit secured $10 million for its "bite-size" audio meditation plans and BioBeats nabbed $3 million to combat stress with meditation and breathing exercises. Other notable players in the space include Headspace, which has also attracted vast chunks of venture capital funding.
Not only has Calm been profitable for several years already, it can now lay legitimate claim to being the first mental health-focused unicorn, which is quite a remarkable feat when you consider it has a team of just 50. But its growth is perhaps a sign of the times -- the meditation industry is reportedly worth more than $1 billion in the U.S. alone, while the broader "wellness" sector is estimated at several trillion dollars, according to the Global Wellness Institute. "We started as a meditation app, but have grown far beyond that," added Acton Smith. "Our vision is to build one of the most valuable and meaningful brands of the 21st century. Health and wellness is a $4 trillion industry, and we believe there is a big opportunity to build the leading company in this fast-growing and important space."