Simple Habit

A 5-minute meditation app designed to help busy people stress less, achieve more, and live better.
Batch: 2017 Winter
Status: Successful

Simple Habit

A 5-minute meditation app designed to help busy people stress less, achieve more, and live better.
Batch: 2017 Winter
Status: Successful

Company

5-minute meditation app. Spotify for meditation.

We built an iOS app that offers 5-minute meditations for life situations throughout the day. For example, meditations to reduce anxiety before a meeting, improve focus at work, and sleep better.

Meditations are recorded by top meditation teachers from all over the world — we currently have over 100 teachers on our platform and are listened to by [redacted].

Our goal is to build the world's leading platform for mindfulness and meditation content. We want to help millions of people learn to live more mindfully and be more resilient.

Progress

I started the company in Feb 2016 and launched the iOS app in June 2016. In just 3 months, we are reaching close to 100K downloads on our iPhone app. 5% of sign-ups end up paying for a subscription that costs about $12 a month. [Redacted.] Our week-over-week growth rate is [redacted]. We are currently developing Android — expected release date for November.

Simple Habit has already been featured by Apple 5 times and written about by media extensively.

We've been working on the company for 8 months (since February 2016). We have ~40k lines of code for all our platforms combined.

User growth rate was 95% last month ([redacted] MRR growth rate was [redacted]).
We made [redacted] last month in September. We make [redacted] as of today, so we're expecting to make [redacted] in October.

Idea

After graduating from Duke in 2011, I worked in investment banking and later founded my first startup, Locket (eventually I sold Locket to Wish). I raised $3m+ for the company and I became more stressed than ever. I tried lots of stress-relief products at the time: massages, lavender pillows, silent retreats and other meditation apps. Meditation worked best for me, and while I liked the meditation apps currently on the market, I didn't like how most apps were one teacher/personality based. I wanted to be able to browse through different types of teachers and teachings and make meditations bite-sized so busy professionals could use it. I built Simple Habit to really serve my needs.

Since launch, we had thousands of users who suffer from stress, anxiety, depression tell us how our app has changed their lives. Check out our app store to see their raving reviews! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simple-habit-mindfulness- meditations/id1093360165

In contract to Headspace and Calm who have launched a single 'channel,' we're launching a marketplace — a platform for mindfulness, offering a continuously updated stream of meditation content from a variety of teachers.

We're the first to create a meditation platform that curates content from hundreds of high-quality mindfulness professionals and charge subscriptions for access.

We're also the first to introduce a Spotify-like business model to the meditation space. Mindfulness teachers are paid a portion of our subscription revenue commensurate to the number of times their content is listened to. Users get access to meditation content that is diverse in personality and topics.

Silent retreats and in-person meditation studios are other alternatives, but they aren't accessible to all busy working professionals financially or temporally.

There are two things that companies in our space don't get:

1) Our competitors don't get that users experience meditation fatigue from listening to the same voice/personality over and over again. In other words, they start to tune out. Imagine if Spotify or iTunes only carried one band. One's enjoyment of music would diminish over time. Similarly, the effectiveness of meditation on a listener diminishes over time as they get accustomed to the techniques and personality of the same meditation teacher.

2) Our competitors also don't understand that teachers can be a powerful channel for user acquisition. The key to developing this channel is to focus on creating a great experience for meditation teachers. This includes setting up the right financial incentive structure for teachers and building them tools that enable and encourage them to be an evangelist of Simple Habit.

In the US alone, 18M people are meditating (reported by Forbes), and this number keeps increasing every year. Capturing [redacted] of these users is a [redacted] business at our current subscription pricing. However, we consider this just the start of what we can do.

According to research by IBISWorld, the meditation and mindfulness industry ranked in nearly $1 billion in 2015. The space is growing very rapidly. More than 22% of employers currently offer mindfulness training for their workforce. However, meditation and mindfulness is just the tip of an iceberg. We believe there are a LOT of ways to monetize a large audience of people who trust our company to guide their activities around their health. We'd like to take on larger market of mental health, stress relief and health & wellness which is a trillion dollar industry.

Curious

Y Combinator has an incredible network of entrepreneurs and mentors — many of whom have used Simple Habit and directly fall into our target audience. Being part of YC would be an impetus of growth in terms of learning from the community and attracting the best talent. I'm at Stanford GSB right now and I'd happily consider dropping out for YC.

So many of my friends have gone through Y Combinator and they rave about it. Founders of Gusto, Flexport, Weave, Muse, Experiment, Tenjin, Innerspace, ProductHunt, Memebox.

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