Stress and wellness app Calm announced Wednesday it has acquired Ripple Health Group, a health tech company that makes apps for care coordination and condition management.
As part of the deal, Ripple CEO David Ko will join Calm as co-CEO alongside Michael Acton Smith. Calm cofounder and co-CEO Alex Tew will become executive chairman.
Ripple’s current apps include CareMemo, which allows patients and caregivers to communicate with care teams and store important documents, and LikePaper, an app that helps users organize care, keep medical information and set medication reminders.
“As advisor to Calm since 2019, I’ve witnessed first-hand the team’s ability to pioneer the future of mental health, redefining both the category and the distribution channel,” Ko said in a statement. “Calm is on a mission to make the world happier and healthier. I can’t think of a better fit for Ripple’s team and technology. We’re incredibly honored to join the company. I’m excited to work alongside Michael to bring Calm to healthcare.”
WHY IT MATTERS
The Ripple acquisition will allow the combined company to move deeper into the mental health space, Calm said. Alongside the deal, the wellness startup announced Calm Health, a new offering that will include “content, community and coaching to drive outcomes across the full spectrum of mental healthcare.”
Calm Health, which the company said is coming soon, will replace Calm for Business, its service that works with employers to offer its meditation, stress and sleep content for employees.
THE LARGER TREND
Mental healthcare and wellness is a crowded field within the digital health space, with many companies targeting their tools toward the employer market.
Another player in the sector is Headspace Health, itself the result of a merger between meditation app Headspace and digital mental health company Ginger. Last month, it announced the acquisition of Sayana, which makes AI-backed mental-health-tracking and sleep apps.
Employer-focused digital mental health company Lyra Health recently announced a $235 million Series F round and the purchase of employee-assistant program ICAS World.
M&A is also a growing trend in digital health and health tech. A report by CB Insights found 574 deals last year, an increase of 44% from 2020.
That trend seems to be continuing into 2022. Just this week, connected-health-tech company Withings announced the purchase of 8fit, a fitness and nutrition app; digital clinical trial platform Medable scooped up the dermatology-focused Omhu A/S; digital collaboration and insights company PointClickCare announced plans to buy health IT company Audacious Inquiry; hybrid fertility care startup Kindbody entered into an agreement to acquire Vios Fertility Institute, a network of fertility clinics; and digital diabetes management company Glooko bought AI-enabled diabetes care company xbird.