Mental health ‘unicorn’ Calm has cut 20% of its workforce, the company confirmed to Digital Health Business & Technology.
Calm employed approximately 400 people before the layoff. In a memo, CEO David Ko said the layoffs came as the 10-year-old company revisited its investment thesis and recognized that changes were needed to keep the company efficient.
The layoffs were first reported in The Wall Street Journal.
San Francisco-based Calm offers virtual mediation and wellness services direct to consumers and through employer agreements. The company has raised $217 million to date. In December 2020, it was valued at $2 billion after a $75 million funding round.
In February, Calm acquired health technology company Ripple Health Group for an undisclosed amount. The move was made to strengthen the company’s employer product.
With the acquisition, Ko became the co-CEO of Calm along with then-Calm CEO Michael Acton Smith. Prior to Calm, Ko was the CEO of Ripple Health. Ko became the sole CEO when Smith and Calm co-founder Alex Tew moved into co-chairman roles earlier this summer.
As macroeconomic conditions have deteriorated, many ‘unicorns’ have similarly laid off employees to keep costs down. Since June 1, at least 17 digital health unicorns have undergone layoffs, according to data compiled by Digital Health Business & Technology. Cerebral, a mental health ‘unicorn’ that has been mired in controversy, laid off staff in late June.
Headspace Health CEO Russell Glass, a competitor of Calm, told Digital Health Business & Technology the company has not had layoffs but will slow down hiring in certain areas and has emphasized mindful spending.