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Calm, trendy wellness startup unicorn headquartered in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, lays off a fifth of staff

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A display of Calm's mobile app.

A display of Calm’s mobile app.

Thanks to Calm

Calm, the meditation and relaxation tech startup having a medley of celebrity voices, has let go a fifth of its staff. The business is headquartered in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREAand employs around 400 people, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The affected employees were let go Thursday, an organization spokesperson told SFGATE. Laid-off employees were notified in one-on-one meetings, in accordance with a company-wide message.

Although some of you can be impacted, everyone will undoubtedly be affected, Calm CEO David Ko said in the message Thursday. I could assure you that was not a straightforward decision, nonetheless it is especially problematic for an organization like ours whose mission is targeted on workplace mental health and fitness.

Calm, like direct competitor Headspace and digital therapy services like BetterHelp and Talkspace, capitalized on the recent uptick popular for mental healthcare and wellness a demand that has been only intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. But Calms big draw over its competitors was its reliance on mega-celebrities, from boy-bander turned pop dreamboat Harry Styles to actor Matthew McConaughey, to learn sleep stories on the platform.

By 2020, it had been valued at $2 billion rendering it among the largest unicorns in the mental health tech space. Nonetheless it, too, has been forced to pare back as a more-constrained tech industry has seen demand drop after profits and hiring soared through the pandemic.

We didn’t arrived at this decision lightly, but are confident these changes can help us prioritize the near future, concentrate on growth and be a far more efficient organization, Ko said.

A spokesperson didn’t provide additional information on laid-off employees’ severance packages.

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