Relaxation app Calm raises $88 million, valuing it $1 billion

More Americans are meditating than ever. About 14 percent of adults said they meditated in 2017, a threefold increase from 4.1 percent in 2012, according to a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The study did not collect any information on what drove the increases, but researchers told CNBC cellphone apps may have contributed to the increase.

In addition to meditation, Calm has found a niche in sleep. It said Wednesday its sleep stories, which are essentially adult bedtime stories, have surpassed more than 100 million listens. It has teamed up with celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Stephen Fry and Leona Lewis to narrate the stories.

Smith said Calm wants to expand to other countries in other languages.

“America is only 4.5 percent of the total global population, so there are a lot of other people that can enjoy the product and help the company grow,” he said.

Calm is the top grossing health and fitness app and 20th overall on iOS, according to App Annie, an app market data firm. Headspace is the seventh-highest grossing health and fitness app and 103rd overall on iOS, App Annie said.

Headspace has raised a total of $75 million. In June 2017, the company confirmed it was valued at $320 million. It currently generates more than $100 million in revenue per year.

Correction: This article was updated to correct inaccurate information provided by Headspace about when it was valued at $320 million.

-CNBC’s
Ari Levy
contributed to this report

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