Calm heads to the airport, invests $3 million in XpresSpa

Startups

Wellness app Calm has today announced a $3 million equity investment in XpresSpa Group, a fast-spa service you may have noticed in your local airport. Calm sees the investment as a way to expand its offline presence, growing awareness of the app as well as its retail products like Sleep Mist and the Calm Book.

Calm subscribers will have access to a variety of in-store benefits and treatments at one of 52 XpresSpa locations in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

As investor and general interest around mental health and wellness grows, Calm has carved out its slice of the pie. The company has raised $28.5 million from investors Insight Venture Partners and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, with a $250 million valuation.

The app is, for all intents and purposes, a content hub for folks looking to bring more calm into their life. This can range from in-the-moment meditation sessions to tracks to help you sleep. The company has also introduced a music hub and a video hub for “mindful movement and gentle stretching.”

A Calm subscription costs $69.99/year. The app has 36 million users, with more than 1 million paid users.

“The greatest challenge (and opportunity) for Calm is waking people up to mental fitness,” said Dun Wang, VP of Product & Growth, in an email. “It’s becoming more and more common now, but it’s definitely been a challenge for us. We have a massive poster of a 1970s People Magazine cover in our office. Farrah Fawcett is on the cover in this crazy 70s workout get up and the cover reads “the craze of jogging.” Mental fitness is growing in both importance and popularity, similarly to physical fitness in the 70s.”

Here’s what cofounder and co-CEO Michael Acton Smith had to say in a prepared statement:

The need for mental fitness in our stressed, fast-paced world is clear, and we’ve already seen a tremendous increase in our digital user base, growing 110% percent in downloads this year. By partnering with XpresSpa, we’re expanding beyond our core app offering to reach more offline consumers, and dialing in on a common consumer pain point: traveler stress.

With the XpresSpa partnership, Calm can capitalize on the stress of travel, not only converting people over to the app but doing so at a time when the user is likely to engage.

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