Headspace, Ginger finalize merger to form $3B mental health company

Less than two months after the deal was announced, Headspace and Ginger have closed their merger, creating a $3 billion mental health company.

The merger comes during a time of unprecedented global need for mental health services as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing behavioral health challenges. By combining Ginger's teletherapy services with Headspace's meditation and mindfulness app, the company now has a combined reach to 100 million consumers, according to the company.

"The thesis going in was that we had a great culture fit and are very mission-aligned, and, so far, it’s played out," Russell Glass, formerly the CEO of Ginger and now Headspace Health CEO, told Fierce Healthcare. "We are excited to start to bring the promise of the two companies together."

Headspace Health aims to provide employees a full range of mental health services, from coaching, therapy and psychiatric care to meditation. The company offers interventions and tools for millions of people experiencing mental health symptoms, from anxiety to depression to more complex diagnoses like severe mental illness. 

RELATED: Ginger and Headspace plan merger to rapidly scale up digital mental health services

The company now boasts more than 2,700 enterprise and health plan customers with combined bookings by end of 2021 of nearly $300 million, the companies said.

Employers are increasingly recognizing the need to address employees' mental health and wellness and are looking for end-to-end solutions instead of point solutions, Glass said.

"This is costing employers over $200 billion a year as a result of absenteeism, lost productivity and healthcare costs. There is a growing understanding that’s it’s a huge need right now," he said.

Headspace Health also rolled out Thursday a single offering for employers through one procurement process. The bundled solution, which combines Ginger with Headspace for Work offers employers unified employee outreach, education and engagement services.

The combined company also announced two industry leaders: Myrna Soto, a technology and cybersecurity thought leader, and Julia Cheek, founder and CEO at Everly Health, joined its board of directors. They join several current Headspace and Ginger board members on the combined company's nine-member board.

RELATED: Ginger's mental health app now available in Spanish with full rollout to all 25M users by early 2022

Of Headspace Health’s board, a third identify as female and a third identify as BIPOC or Latinx, according to the company.

“We are in continuous pursuit of the diversity of background, entrepreneurial energy, and operational experience needed to transform how mental healthcare is delivered for all populations,” Glass said.

Cheek, founder of at-home health testing startup Everly Health, said she jumped at the chance to join Headspace Health's board having observed the impact of the growing mental health crisis on people around the world and on her own workforce.

"I have been approached for several really interesting, later-stage opportunities about joining different boards. There are so many great digital health companies now, but I really felt for me that this particular focus was super mission-driven around the mental health crisis," she told Fierce Healthcare.

Headspace Health's approach is to make high-quality mental health more accessible to consumers, she said.

"We’re in such a new age of digital health. This is a really unique time to be able to bring my expertise in building a consumer and now enterprise healthcare brand as well as being able to think about, from my perspective as a female leader, how can this brand be accessible to everyone and how can everyone benefit from getting the care they need through a tool like Headspace," she said.