In 2004, Andy Puddicombe returned to London from a ten year expedition training as a Buddhist monk. Returning home, he established his own private meditation practice and in 2010 one of his clients, Richard Pierson (CEO), helped him establish Headspace.
Headspace was originally an events company, offering prospective clients a way to book Puddicombe. After several clients asked him for material to take come, the team (a few friends of Puddicombe and Pierson) built an app to fill that need.
The app originally came with a few offline sessions, which followed the classes conducted in London.
Puddicombe delivers the sessions in his soothing British voice, which is still the default male voice on Headspace. His appearances on Jimmy Fallon and his TED Talk have made him a key ambassador for mindfulness in the West.
The app quickly surpassed event bookings as the revenue driver for Headspace. It reached one million downloads in 2014, and received early praise from several celebrities, alongside partnerships with Virgin Atlantic and Harvard University.
Even with this growing interest in mindfulness, Headspace was still a rather niche company until 2018. In that year, it reached one million paid subscribers, a 50 percent surge over the previous year, alongside a growth in commercial clients, such as Google and LinkedIn.
As Headspace grew, so did its rival, Calm. Both built by UK entrepreneurs, Headspace and Calm are in what they describe as “mindful competition”. For the first few years, Headspace led the way, however Calm received a wave of new users following its iOS award for App of the Year in 2017.
Headspace also acquired Alpine.AI in 2018, which built interactive voice services for retail. It launched Headspace Health a few months later, a subsidiary aimed at embedding its design and philosophical approach to third-party medical devices and services.
Headspace has always been focused on meditation, with its exhaustive list of A-Z list of sessions. Courses for stress, anger, depression, work performance and even teaching kids how to meditate are all available on the app. Many courses are built within the three level framework: learn, practice and master.
However, in the past few years it has branched into other forms of wellness, such as adult sleeping, exercise routines and music playlists. It recently launched a podcast called Radio Headspace, in which Puddicombe discusses a few key questions from listeners.
Mindful Earth launched in 2020, which combines BBC Planet Earth cinematography with Headspace’s wellness sessions. Headspace also partnered with Netflix for a three part series focused on meditation, with the classic Headspace visuals.
We have collected data and statistics on Headspace. Read on below to find out more.
Headspace key statistics
- Headspace generated $100 million revenue in 2019. Figures for 2020 have not been published, although we expect between $100 and $150 million revenue for the year
- Over two million people subscribe to Headspace and the app has been downloaded over 65 million times
- 600 businesses have partnered with Headspace to offer the app for free to employees
- Headspace has been valued at $320 million, although it has not disclosed valuations for the past two funding rounds
|Launch date||6 January 2012|
|HQ||Santa Monica, California|
|People||Andy Puddicombe (co-founder, advisor), CeCe Morken (CEO, President), Richard Pierson (co-founder)|
|Industry||Meditation and wellness|
Note: Headspace did not publicise its valuation for its two funding rounds in 2020, perhaps due to not reaching ‘unicorn’ status as its rival Calm did in 2019.
Headspace commercial customers
Note: Commercial customers include Google, LinkedIn, Starbucks and Adobe. Businesses subsidise Headspace premium for their employees, so one customer could equate to thousands of users.
Headspace downloads (total)
Headspace vs Calm: revenue
What companies offer Headspace to employees?
Google, LinkedIn, Starbucks, Adobe, GE and Turner have all partnered with Headspace for commercial use (Marketwatch)
Who has the most subscribers out of Headspace and Calm?
Calm has the most subscribers at four million, although Headspace has not updated its subscriber count since early 2020
What are Headspace demographics?
How many meditation sessions are available on Headspace?
There is over 300 hours of guided meditation available on the app
How many countries is Headspace available in?
Headspace is available in over 190 countries, in five languages
When was Headspace founded?
Headspace was founded in 2012 by Andy Puddicombe and Richard Pierson, who received $50,000 from friends to launch the app (Forbes)