Headspace Health announced its first tuck-in deal following the head-turning merger that created the company.
On Wednesday, the San Francisco-based mental wellness and on-demand virtual behavioral health company announced that it acquired a fellow San Francisco-based startup Sayana Inc.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Sayana will deepen Headspace Health’s AI capabilities in its services. Sayana uses mobile apps to provide AI-enabled chat features that guide users through self-help regimens. The AI also tracks mood check-ins and directs users to relevant therapeutic practices.
By integrating Sayana into the company, Headspace Health will better personalize users’ experiences based on their check-ins and mood trends, surfacing high-quality content and breathing exercises and self-care exercises rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance commitment therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.
Sayana was founded in 2018 by CEO Sergey Fayfer and Chief Technology Officer Alexander Baranov. Sayana’s leadership will join the company, which is backed by Mountain View, California-based startup seed funder and accelerator Y-Combinator, which typically invests $500,000 into startups.
Presently, Headspace Health uses AI and other technology like natural language processing to personalize care and content delivered to its members. It also uses these automated technologies to analyze coaching conversations with Headspace Health providers and flag when members need immediate triage or emergency support.
This deal comes about three months after the merger between Ginger.io Inc. and Headspace Inc. in October created Headspace Health. At that time, the merged company was valued at $3 billion. Headspace Health reaches over 100 million customers through its direct-to-consumer (d2c) and business-to-business (b2b) segments.
Leaders at Sayana connected with Headspace Health in 2021 and recognized a similarity in values and mission at Headspace. In part, that moral focus includes bringing affordable and accessible mental wellness to all.
“Improving mental wellbeing is a complicated challenge that requires the passionate work of thousands of people,” an open letter by company leaders posted on the Sayana website states. “It makes much more sense to join forces and add to each other’s progress than building things already available and working well.”
Following the merger, Headspace Health CEO Russ Glass it was imperative from a financial and from a mission perspective to grow the company to an even larger scale. At that time, the company reached about 100 million people and served about 2,700 enterprise and health plan partners. Glass told Behavioral Health Business that the massive scale and focus on wellness was essential to get upstream of the mental health struggles nagging on millions in the U.S. and the world.
While the Sayana acquisition increases the company’s ability to provide self-help and better personalize the user experience, Glass said in October that the company could expand into providing mental health services for children under 13 years old and helping treat addiction.
He also teased the possibility of an IPO for the company but also stated that the company has had success in private equity markets that have a keen interest in mental and behavioral health companies.