In 2004, Andy Puddicombe returned to London from a ten year expedition training as a Buddhist monk. Returning home, he established his own private meditation practice and in 2010 one of his clients, Richard Pierson (CEO), helped him establish Headspace.

Headspace was originally an events company, offering prospective clients a way to book Puddicombe. After several clients asked him for material to take come, the team (a few friends of Puddicombe and Pierson) built an app to fill that need.

The app originally came with a few offline sessions, which followed the classes conducted in London.

Puddicombe delivers the sessions in his soothing British voice, which is still the default male voice on Headspace. His appearances on Jimmy Fallon and his TED Talk have made him a key ambassador for mindfulness in the West.

The app quickly surpassed event bookings as the revenue driver for Headspace. It reached one million downloads in 2014, and received early praise from several celebrities, alongside partnerships with Virgin Atlantic and Harvard University.

Even with this growing interest in mindfulness, Headspace was still a rather niche company until 2018. In that year, it reached one million paid subscribers, a 50 percent surge over the previous year, alongside a growth in commercial clients, such as Google and LinkedIn.

As Headspace grew, so did its rival, Calm. Both built by UK entrepreneurs, Headspace and Calm are in what they describe as “mindful competition”. For the first few years, Headspace led the way, but after receiving the award for best iOS App in 2017, Calm has outpaced its rival in revenue and valuation.

Headspace also acquired Alpine.AI in 2018, which built interactive voice services for retail. It launched Headspace Health a few months later, a subsidiary aimed at embedding its design and philosophical approach to third-party medical devices and services.

Headspace has always been focused on meditation, with its exhaustive list of A-Z list of sessions. Courses for stress, anger, depression, work performance and even teaching kids how to meditate are all available on the app. Many courses are built within the three level framework: learn, practice and master.

However, in the past few years it has branched into other forms of wellness, such as adult sleeping, exercise routines and music playlists. It recently launched a podcast called Radio Headspace, in which Puddicombe discusses a few key questions from listeners.

Later this year, the BBC will debut a new show called Mindful Earth, which combines the BBC’s cinematography with Headspace’s wellness sessions. It will be available on the app later in the year.

We have collected data and statistics on Headspace’s revenue, usage and subscribers. Read on below to find out more about the app.

Headspace Overview

Launch date6 January 2012
HQSanta Monica, California
PeopleRichard Pierson (co-founder, CEO), Andy Puddicombe (co-founder), CeCe Morken (COO, President)
Business typePrivate
IndustryMeditation and wellness

Headspace Revenue

2013$0.1 million
2016$30 million
2017$40 million
2018$60 million
2019$100 million

Sources: HW, Wanderlust, Fortune, NPR

Headspace Total Raised

2014$4 million
2015$38 million
2017$75 million
2020$215 million

Source: Crunchbase, Business of Apps

Headspace Valuation

2014$50 million
2017$250 million
2018$320 million

Note: Headspace did not publicise its valuation for its two funding rounds in 2020, perhaps due to not reaching ‘unicorn’ status, as its rival Calm did in 2019. 

Sources: The Times, Forbes, TechCrunch

Headspace Paid Subscribers

20170.4 million
20181 million
20202 million

Sources: Forbes, Headspace, TechCrunch 

Headspace Commercial Customers


Note: Commercial customers include Google, LinkedIn, Starbucks and Adobe. Businesses subsidise Headspace premium for their employees, so one customer could equate to thousands of users. 

Source: Marketwatch

Headspace Total Downloads

20120.05 million
20141 million
20166 million
201840 million
202065 million

Sources: HW, The Times, Fortune, Marketwatch, Business of Apps

Headspace Top Grossing iOS App Position


Source: CNBC

Headspace vs Calm: Revenue

Headspace other key stats

  • Headspace generates more than $100 million in revenue per year from paid subscribers and businesses subsidizing employee subscriptions (NPR)
  • 600 companies, including Google, LinkedIn, Starbucks, Adobe, General Electric and Turner, partner with Headspace (Marketwatch)
  • In its last two funding rounds, Headspace refused to share its valuation. It is almost certainly more than its current $320 million valuation. Its rival, Calm, is valued at $1 billion (Business Insider)
  • Headspace reached 65 million downloads in 2020 (Business of Apps) and is on track to hit 100 million by 2022
  • Headspace is conducting over 70 clinical research studies, with academic institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University, and the UK’s National Health Service (Crunchbase)
  • Usage demographics are evenly split between 18 to 65 year olds, gender is also a 50/50 split (Forbes, Jinhong Chen)
  • Headspace employs over 350 people worldwide (LinkedIn)
  • There is over 300 hours of guided meditation available on the app (Headspace)
  • Headspace is available in over 190 countries, in five languages
  • Headspace started with $50,000 Puddicombe and Pierson managed to wrangle from friends and family (Forbes)

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