Alpine.ai Acquired by Headspace
Alpine.ai has entered it’s fourth phase in less than three years. The company yesterday announced its acquisition by Headspace. The company was founded in early 2016 as Voice Labs and by the end of 2017, it was the leader in voice app analytics with 3,700 voice apps using the solution. Along the way, the company built out, tested, launched and shut down a short-lived voice assistant advertising platform. Amazon policy changes quickly made that business untenable in the near-term. The analytics business continued to grow despite the lack of an ad monetization feature.
The Shift to Path-to-Purchase
However, in January of this year, the company changed its name, business strategy and technology stack and began transitioning its customers to other analytics providers. What emerged was Alpine.ai which was focused on the voice enabled path-to-purchase. The goal was to help brands move consumers down the purchasing funnel by leveraging emerging voice channels. Company co-founder Adam Marchick told Voicebot in a January interview:
“We are really excited about Alpine. Alex Linares [VoiceLabs/Alpine AI CTO] and I have been immersed in the voice ecosystems the past two years. We see Alpine as a way to be more helpful and impactful for companies.”
That change was followed by new product and customer announcements including an initiative with Petco. The Headspace acquisition was therefore surprising as Apline was getting traction with brands and retailers.
Alpine through its brief history raised $3.2 million over two rounds from The Chernin Group, Javelin Venture Partners and others. It’s most recent $3 million funding round in September 2017 resulted in a post-deal valuation of $10 million. Terms were not disclosed by Headspace regarding the acquisition price. TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez and Ingrid Lunden wrote:
“The addition of Alpine’s technology could be a competitive advantage for Headspace, in the crowded and growing field of self-care apps. Headspace is just ahead of chief rival Calm.com in terms of valuation…The deal is also about betting on the future of voice computing.”
Alpine co-founder Adam Marchick summed up the synergy between the companies that may not seem obvious to the casual observer. “Headspace is not just meditation. It has a focus on health and happiness and a mission around healthy routines for people. And, its use cases make a lot of sense for voice and audio,” he said. Marchick added:
“At Alpine, we were taking a need expressed through natural language and matching it with the right product. Now, we are taking a need and matching it with the right content in Headspace. Voice is the most delightful way to do that. You think about hunting and pecking on a mobile device. It takes three to four minutes and isn’t fun. Saying, ‘I am having trouble sleeping’ and immediately receiving great, helpful content from Headspace, that is awesome. That is what we are doing together.”