The San Francisco-based meditation app Calm raised over $500K in funding from investors. Its total investment reached one million dollar.
The company, founded by Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew, raised $578.000 from Jason Calacanis’s Launch fund and AngelList syndicate, Matt Mullenweg, and Matt Cheng among others.
Since its arrival on the Apple Store in 2012, over hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded the app and another tens of thousands are paying subscribers. After a seven day free trial, users can pay a yearly subscription fee of $59.99.
The app claims to be the “perfect meditation app for beginners”, while still offering a variety of “programs for intermediate and advanced users.” Meditation sessions can last from 3 to 25 minutes. Topics discussed range from “Self-Esteem” to “Walking meditation” and “Focus and Concentration”. A selection of background noises such as rain or wind can be added to the guided meditation.
Calm offers free meditation programs such as 7 Days of Calm and 7 Days of Calming Anxiety. Both programs contain seven sessions of about 10 minutes each. Users have the option of paying for more specific programs like College Collection which offers meditation sessions specialized for college students.
The Apple Store awarded it with the prize for the best application of the year 2017. As of today, it is the number four most popular app in the section Health & Fitness of the Apple Store.
Why use an app to relax ?
At its beginning, Calm was facing skepticism from investors who thought “meditation was too niche”. Its popularity has proven them wrong.
The co-founder and CEO of Calm, Alex Tew, talked about the desire for people to take care of their mental health. “We found that people are really willing to invest in their personal well-being.”
To him, Calm found its target audience: “We’re finding that it’s monetizing very well, conversion rates are very high, and our demographic is in line with people who like to spend money in this area.”
Scott Rosenberg from Wired spoke to Tew about the irony of using a phone to decompress. According to the CEO, “You use the device’s power against itself in order to fix some of the issues that it’s causing.”
Calm offers a service through an everyday object that we all use and this is perhaps one of the reasons why it is so popular. Tew also wants to expand the brand’s expertise and become a lifestyle brand by offering more real-life items, they are already selling a $30 sleep fog to help fall asleep.