Calm, the wellness and meditation app maker valued at more than $1 billion, is getting into a whole new line of business.
Over the past year, a handful of its roughly 100 San Francisco-based employees have begun selling Calm to business clients, who then offer subscriptions as a perk to its workers. Among the companies that have signed on are global law firm Winston & Strawn and the Butcher's Daughter, a restaurant with locations in New York City and Los Angeles.
While Calm frequently touts its two million consumer subscribers who pay roughly $70 a year for the app, it has been keeping its business-to-business work under wraps. Calm tells Inc. exclusively that it now has 300 paying business clients, though the company declined to disclose the pricing on these deals.
Calm says it is hiring up to two dozen business-to-business sales, marketing, and support employees over the next year to further build the operation. The company currently has listings on Glassdoor and LinkedIn for positions such as B2B account executive.
The consumer Calm app offers features including guided meditation, "sleep stories," and music. Calm is hoping to offer additional premium products to business clients, including custom audio segments and standalone quiet booths, which the company has partnered with soundproof-booth upstart Room to create.
Alex Will, Calm's chief strategy officer, says the booths can be used not only for listening to Calm's meditation suite, but also just for stepping away from office chaos: "In a busy office, which is often open-plan, they are a way you can have a moment of peace."
Calm wants businesses to view app subscriptions not just as a perk to help attract talent, but also as a wellness benefit that could improve productivity and worker retention. It doesn't have a goal for the number of companies it wants to reach over the next year, and Will says the company is not focusing on its peer Silicon Valley firms.
"We want to be working with organizations of very different sizes, and for them to have incredible experiences--we want to see uptake in their organizations," he says.
Calm's co-founder, Michael Acton Smith, says mental health is also an ongoing focus for the company, and that it has had discussions with health-insurance companies that could eventually lead to larger deals for Calm as an employee-health benefit. He's slated to speak on October 28 at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas about Calm's wellness applications--and will likely discuss the company's recent work catering to other businesses.
"We have built this billion-dollar consumer brand--but we think the B2B brand has great potential, too," Acton Smith tells Inc.
The B2B push is part of the company's wide-ranging effort to woo a broader audience of subscribers. Another effort this year has been enlisting famous voices from Hollywood and the music industry to both endorse the app and to create exclusive content for it. (The company offers "sleep stories" told by actors such as Matthew McConaughey, and has launched exclusive music by Moby and Sigur Ros.) Separately, the app has been rolling out internationally; it's offered in French, German, and Spanish, and earlier this month launched in South Korea.
In February, Calm closed a round of $88 million in funding that valued the company at more than $1 billion. In July, it added another $27 million, bringing its total venture capital funding to $141 million.