Headspace Merges With Mental Health Startup Ginger

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Headspace Merges With Mental Health Startup Ginger
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

Best known for its meditation app, Headspace announced it is merging with Ginger, a mental health service that provides on-demand teletherapy and telepsychiatry offerings.

The two will form Headspace Health to offer a spectrum of mental health services from meditation to video calls with therapists at a combined valuation of more than $3 billion.

The company projects $300 million in sales revenue by the end of the fiscal year, half of which is expected to come from employers and health plan.

Headspace, which offered the popular app to teachers for free during the pandemic, said with the merger Headspace Health will have more than 2,700 companies as clients. The two companies were introduced last year through a common investor, LinkedIn executive Jeff Weiner.

The merger will allow Santa Monica-based Headspace to branch out from its popular meditation app into the world of telehealth, which has seen increased demand during the pandemic. The company has long tried to pursue more clinical offerings, including getting the meditation app approved by the FDA by 2020.

Karan Singh, co-founder and COO of Ginger, said the merger would allow the company to offer a more comprehensive suite of care products that span preventative care to acute mental health care. For example, if someone had trouble sleeping, the company could offer sleep treatments while also investigating the underlying cause of lack of sleep.

"Most people don't actually know what they have, they just know they're not feeling well," Singh said. The new company can "figure out what you need by leveraging really great clinicians and providers, along with great technology, to guide you to the right resources."

Ginger CEO Russell Glass will be the CEO of the newly-formed Headspace Health, while Headspace CEO Cece Morken will be the president.

Headspace Health is leveraging what it calls the largest mental health dataset in the world - partly created by Ginger's access to chat transcripts between clients and mental health coaches, clinical assessments and satisfaction scores - to suggest more personalized care through meditation, treatment or sleep.

"We can start to develop or predict the kinds of programs or tools or resources for other people like you, that have used that said content to get them better," Singh said.

The new iteration of Headspace Health, one that combines Ginger and Headspace, is a far cry from the subsidiary Headspace created last year under the same name. It focused on creating "digital therapeutics," Megan Jones Bell, the chief science officer at Headspace said in an interview with Matter CEO Steven Collens in 2020. The vision was to create a medical device or health care service that was approved by the FDA to manage chronic conditions.

"These sets of products, given they are framed as treatments which are different from our general wellness offering via our consumer and enterprise product, we are going through a rigorous clinical trial process," Bell said.

A Headspace Health representative said the original idea behind the subsidiary was to create prescriptive treatments around issues like migraines. Since, the company decided to shift gears and prioritize mental health at large.

"Together, as Headspace Health, we will address the systemic challenges of access and affordability in a fundamentally different way by creating the world's most holistic, scalable, and effective mental health and wellbeing company," said Morken.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comments from Karan Singh.


Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Data Is Helping Physicians Track Their Patients Health One Heartbeat at a Time

S.C. Stuart
S.C. Stuart is a foreign correspondent (ELLE China, Esquire Latin America), Contributing Writer at Ziff Davis PCMag, and consults as a futurist for Hollywood Studios. Previously, S.C. was the head of digital at Hearst Magazines International while serving as a Non-Executive Director, UK Trade & Investment (US) and Digital Advisor at The Smithsonian.
Data Is Helping Physicians Track Their Patients Health One Heartbeat at a Time

Are you a human node on a health-based digital network?

According to research from Insider Intelligence, the U.S. smart wearable user market is poised to grow 25.5% in 2023. Which is to say, there are an increasing number of Angelenos walking around this city whose vital signs can be tracked day and night via their doctor's digital device. If you've signed up to a health-based portal via a workplace insurance scheme, or through a primary care provider's portal which utilizes Google Fit, you’re one of them.

Do you know your baseline health status and resting heartbeat? Can you track your pulse, and take your own blood pressure? Have you received genetic counseling based on the sequencing of your genome? Do you avoid dairy because it bloats, or because you know you possess the variant that indicates lactose intolerance?

Read moreShow less

Who Will Win the E-scooter Wars in Los Angeles?

Maylin Tu
Maylin Tu is a freelance writer who lives in L.A. She writes about scooters, bikes and micro-mobility. Find her hovering by the cheese at your next local tech mixer.
Who Will Win the E-scooter Wars in Los Angeles?
Evan Xie

Los Angeles — it’s not just beautiful weather, traffic and the Hollywood Walk of Fame — it’s also the largest shared micromobility market in the U.S. with six operators permitted to deploy up to 6,000 vehicles each.

And despite the open market policy, the competition shows no signs of slowing down.

Read moreShow less

March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups
March Capital founder Jamie Montgomery. Illustration by Dilara Mundy.

Santa Monica-based venture outfit March Capital announced Feb. 3 that it raised its largest fund to date, a $650 million investment vehicle that will be used to back up to 15 startups focused on delivering new uses of artificial intelligence.

Read moreShow less