Meditation app Calm lays off 20% of workforce

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Calm, the company behind the meditation, stress and sleep app, has laid off 20% of its staff, according to a memo sent to employees on Thursday. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that about 90 workers lost their jobs, and that Calm employed about 400 people. The memo from CEO David Ko said the company is “not immune to the impacts of the current economic environment.” 

“We did not come to this decision lightly, but are confident that these changes will help us prioritize the future, focus on growth and become a more efficient organization,” Ko wrote in the memo.

THE LARGER TREND

Ko was previously CEO of Ripple Health Group, a company that made apps for care coordination and condition management. It was acquired by Calm earlier this year, and Ko was named co-CEO, alongside Michael Acton Smith. Ko took on the full CEO role earlier this summer. 

Calm announced it had scored $75 million in Series C funding in December 2020, boosting the company’s valuation to $2 billion. It had previously raised a total of $115 million in Series B investments in 2019.

A number of digital health companies have laid off workers in recent months. TechCrunch recently reported that digital pharmacy Truepill had laid off another 175 workers, its third round of cuts so far this year. 

Late last month, virtual care company Included Health and digital therapeutics maker Pear Therapeutics made cuts. Included Health said it had reduced its workforce by less than 6%, while Pear laid off around 25 employees, about 9% of its full-time staff.

Healthcare automation company Olive also let go of about 450 workers in July and pivoted toward a new strategy aimed at more quickly achieving profitability. 

Other digital health companies pursuing layoffs this year include payment company Cedar, digital pharmacy Capsule, wearable fitness-focused WHOOP, virtual care company Ro, at-home diagnostics company Cue Health and hybrid care provider Carbon Health



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