Virgin Pulse, the Framingham-based corporate wellness arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group empire, announced that it has raised $92 million in funding on Wednesday. The 11-year-old company has developed corporate incentive programs for Coca-Cola, CBS, AOL, BP, and Zappos — but this is the first time it has raised funds. Chief executive Chris Boyce said that the round will help support their international growth and allow them to continue to build their local team.
In the decade since Virgin Pulse first launched, it’s become corporate gospel that healthy employees are better for the bottom line. And over time, employee wellness plans have become more inventive and dynamic, with Federal regulators recently approving the use of financial incentives to reward employees and nudge them towards better habits. The influx of wearable devices on the market has also allowed companies to pull information from their employees’ fitness trackers and sync it up with their pre-existing programs.
The fact that the market is getting increasingly crowded likely explains why Virgin Pulse saw fit to raise funds at this point in time. The round was led by the New York-based Insight Venture Partners, and two of the firms partners will join Virgin Pulse’s board.
“Insight is a fantastic partner,” said Boyce. “They bring a ton of B2B tech and SaaS experience, and those two strengths will make us a better company in the long term.”
Boyce said the funds will help Virgin Pulse rapidly expand their reach. They’d like to move beyond helping employees count steps and calories and begin offering programs that promote financial wellness as well, he said, and also hopes to draw on the reputation of the Virgin brand and bring the Pulse programs to more international clients. The company currently employs 200 in its Framingham offices, and Boyce anticipates being able to continue to grow the team so they can dive deeper into the data that Pulse has collected over time.
The company currently serves 250 corporate clients, and provides its services to 2 million users.