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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Meditation app maker Headspace has raised $53 million in new equity funding and another $40 million in debt.

Bottom line: Headpsace will use some of the proceeds to differentiate itself from rivals, via the development of a new product that will focus on mental health tools for patients with certain chronic diseases.

  • Blisce led the equity tranche, and was joined by Waverley Capital and Times Bridge.
  • Pacific Western Bank provided the debt, which Headspace raised to give it a bigger financial cushion (without additional dilution) as it works on Headspace Health, which may take a long time because of clinical research lifecycles.

Meditation app-makers continue to face questions about their effectiveness, particularly when used by employers as a substitute for addressing core causes of workplace stress.

But clearly there's a market appetite, as Headspace CEO Rich Pierson says the company's consumer business is profitable and that its enterprise business has doubled in revenue every year.

  • Its app has been downloaded more than 62 million times in 190 countries, and has more than 2 million paid subscribers, and 600 employers signed up.

The bottom line: “What we’re trying to do is ask people to spend time on our product,” says Pierson. “There are only so many minutes in the day where people are willing to give you their attention.”

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Most Americans are still vulnerable to the coronavirus

Adapted from Bajema, et al., 2020, "Estimated SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in the US as of September 2020"; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

As of September, the vast majority of Americans did not have coronavirus antibodies, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: As the coronavirus spreads rapidly throughout most of the country, most people remain vulnerable to it.

Trump set to appear at Pennsylvania GOP hearing on voter fraud claims

President Trumpat the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is due to join his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday at a Republican-led state Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to discuss alleged election irregularities.

Why it matters: This would be his first trip outside of the DMV since Election Day and comes shortly after GSA ascertained the results, formally signing off on a transition to President-elect Biden.