Calm, a mental wellness startup, has acquired health technology company Ripple Health Group for an undisclosed amount, according to a news release Wednesday.
The company will replace Calm for Business, a mental wellness product for employers, with a new offering called Calm Health. The newly acquired Ripple team will design and build a new mental healthcare solution for employers that integrates with Calm’s existing mental wellness products. It will also continue supporting and developing solutions for caregivers, which has been central to Ripple’s business.
Ripple CEO and co-founder David Ko will become co-CEO of Calm along with current Calm CEO Michael Acton Smith.
“As an advisor to Calm since 2019, I’ve witnessed firsthand the team’s ability to pioneer the future of mental health, redefining both the category and the distribution channel,” Calm co-CEO David Ko said in a news release. “Calm is on a mission to make the world happier and healthier. I can’t think of a better fit for Ripple’s team and technology. We’re incredibly honored to join the company. I’m excited to work alongside Michael to bring Calm to healthcare.”
Investors are pouring money into digital mental health startups, hoping to cash in on the unprecedented demand for mental health services fueled by a lack of access to care and a never-ending pandemic. More than 11% of U.S. adults aged 18 or older have regular feelings of worry, nervousness or anxiety, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 5% have frequent feelings of depression.
Analysts expect digital health mergers and acquisitions to accelerate as the industry matures in the next few years. That could be especially true for companies focused on mental health and wellness. Headspace Health recently acquired mental wellness startup Sayana. The move came just six months after a blockbuster $3 billion merger between Headspace and Ginger to form Headspace Health.
Mergers and acquisitions among digital health companies reached a record 263 transactions in 2021, according to data from Digital Health Business & Technology. There were just 184 mergers and acquisitions among such companies in 2020.