SAN FRANCISCO — Core, a meditation experience and personalized wellness company, announced it raised $4 million in seed funding. Core’s meditation trainer is used by everyone from high performing athletes in the NFL to Grammy Award winning songstress India.Arie. Spero Ventures led the round and was joined by other investors including Bolt, Corigin Ventures and Stanford-StartX Fund. Core will use the investment to ramp up production for its e-commerce launch and to secure key hires across the company’s engineering, marketing, and product teams.
“Taking care of your mind is an act of strength,” says Sarah McDevitt, founder and CEO of Core. “Mental wellbeing is just as important as nutrition and physical activity is to a well balanced lifestyle, unfortunately in the past it just isn’t given as much airtime. Thankfully the dialogue is beginning to open up given that we live in a time where decorated Olympians, like Michael Phelps, and well known celebrities, like Ariana Grande, are sharing their personal struggles with anxiety and depression publicly. This funding is a significant stepping stone for our company. Not only will it help us continue to scale and grow our talented team, it also enables us to connect with the millions of Americans who identify with feeling anxious, overwhelmed or want to boost their self-awareness.”
Core was founded in 2016. The two founders, Brian Bolze and Sarah McDevitt (a college basketball player and former Microsoft employee), met while they were both in graduate programs at Stanford University. Core’s mediation trainer is unique in that it measures your stress levels via an electrocardiogram (also known as an ECG or EKG). It physically guides you through your mediation practice with a soothing pulse and gives you personalized recommendations. Whether you’re a pro athlete or an everyday person who doesn’t want anxiety to get in the way of their goals, Core’s meditation trainer helps you manage your stress levels and unlock your full potential.
“Over the last few months, Core’s meditation trainer changed the way I tune in to myself and connect to my breath,” says Brogan Graham, co-founder of the November Project. “Our free fitness program has motivated 250,000 people around the world to get exercise. It’s absolutely essential for me, as the leader of fun community based workouts, to maintain focus and have my head in the game, so I can encourage others to get out of their beds and get moving. Core helps me stay balanced and de-stress. I can’t think of a better way to start or end my day.”
According to the World Health Organization, lost productivity as a result of depression and anxiety costs the global economy an estimated $1 trillion every year. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that nearly one out of every five American adults is impacted by anxiety.
“I’m excited about Core entering the market because they offer an approachable, personalized, and effective solution for understanding and improving your well-being,” says Christina Tidwell, registered nurse and holistic health coach. “Movement, nutrition and mental health are all interconnected. There is there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution for health and wellness and we’re starting to see that emerge in the way we practice healthcare. I appreciate that Core uses personalized data to provide insights to individuals to understand what their unique needs are and how to meet their goals. As a healthcare professional, I definitely recommend Core to clients for meaningful and proactive self-care at home and on the go.”
One of the recommended treatment options for coping with anxiety disorders is meditation and mindfulness. Given the low barrier to entry and because of the accessibility of meditation, it should come as no surprise that a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that meditation is currently the fastest growing wellness activity in the United States. The average Core user meditates three times per week or more.
“Today’s lifestyles have made it harder to achieve and maintain mental wellbeing and peace of mind. Just as technology has contributed to this problem, we believe technology can be part of the solution,” says Shripriya Mahesh, founding partner at Spero Ventures. “At Spero we invest the things that make life worth living — well-being, work & purpose and human connection. Core provides a tangible, accessible and effective way for everyone to achieve an inner sense of wellbeing. We’re very excited to partner with the Core team to bring their vision to life.”