Meditation Is No Fad, Says Headspace CEO

January 14, 2019

By Chloe Aiello

Meditation app Headspace is zen about its future.

Coming off a profitable year in 2018, with more than $100 million in revenue, CEO and co-founder Rich Pierson told Cheddar on Monday that the company is looking to continue its domination of the digital meditation space by pushing into health care and international markets.

"Last year, we were well north of $100 million in revenue," Pierson said. "We had a great year last year."

Founded in 2010, Headspace offers subscription-based meditation tools and guidance through a mobile app. Pierson attributed the company's success to a confluence of factors ー from good timing to "macro trends in the world" that have people feeling more stressed and anxious than usual.

That's good news for Headspace as it navigates an increasingly crowded meditation technology landscape and makes a push into health care to differentiate its app from the competition, which includes rival app Calm](https://www.wsj.com/articles/headspace-vs-calm-the-meditation-battle-thats-anything-but-zen-11544889606), and a multitude of others emerging in the space.

"We've really invested in health care. So we've got an FDA-approved product that will be coming out in 2020, so that we can really kind of build on that authenticity and trust and the ... science," Pierson told Cheddar on Monday.

The prescription-based product will address specific illnesses, although Pierson would not say which.

"It's going to be a separate product to our core consumer, for specific disease states. We haven't announced the disease state, but it will be for individual disease states, and then you'll be able to get them prescribed by your doctor once we get FDA approval," Pierson said.

Pierson said the company is aiming for 2020 launch of those products, and in the meantime is focusing on business-to-business partnerships, which numbers at 300 clients, and expanding into multiple international markets.

Pierson brushed off the notion that meditation is just another wellness fad.

"People say, 'is meditation a fad?' And I'm like, 'well it's been around for two and a half thousand years, so that's the longest fad in history,'" he said. "And I think the reason that its lasted that amount of time is because its works, I think people keep doing it because they're getting benefit from it."