Marlin Equity Partners is acquiring Providence, Rhode Island-based Virgin Pulse, a subsidiary of the Virgin Group and provider of employee engagement and well-being solutions. The sellers include Insight Venture Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. Marlin is planning on merging Virgin Pulse with Minneapolis-based RedBrick Health, a health engagement and behavior-based technology company that Marlin recently acquired. Evercore provided financial advice to Virgin Pulse on the deal while William Blair & Company did likewise for Marlin.
Providence, RI – (May 21, 2018)
May 21, 2018, Providence, RI – Providence-based Virgin Pulse and Minneapolis-based RedBrick Health announced today that the industry pioneers will merge, creating the world’s largest, most comprehensive digital health and engagement company. This powerful combination will deliver the industry’s only fully integrated digital platform, with benefits navigation and live coaching to support global clients and members across the entire health, wellbeing and benefits lifecycle – from screening and assessment to activation, behavior change and the adoption of sustainable, healthy habits.
“We are thrilled to join with RedBrick to set a new vision and standard for employee health, wellbeing and engagement,” said David Osborne, Virgin Pulse CEO, who will serve as CEO of the combined company. “Bringing RedBrick’s live and digital coaching and benefits navigation together with Virgin Pulse’s mobile-first, daily engagement platform allows us to deliver the industry’s only global, one-stop-shop for employees and employers. As first-movers in this space, and with substantial investment from our new partner, Marlin Equity Partners, we are well-positioned to execute an aggressive growth strategy and change even more lives around the world for good.”
Virgin Pulse and RedBrick are clear industry leaders in employee health, wellbeing and engagement, with each company delivering highly complementary capabilities to the market. To ensure the best possible experience for all clients, the combined company will continue to support and innovate on both the Virgin Pulse and RedBrick platforms, while making the best-in-class capabilities of each solution available across both client bases.
By the end of this year, Virgin Pulse clients will be able to access RedBrick’s health assessments, expert live and digital coaching, and benefits navigation through Virgin Pulse’s API-based framework, allowing Virgin Pulse to interact more deeply with members to optimize their health and wellbeing. In addition, RedBrick clients will have access to Virgin Pulse’s unparalleled challenge capabilities.
“Virgin Pulse and RedBrick are a logical fit, and it should be no surprise that we are finally coming together,” said Dan Ryan, CEO of RedBrick. “The merger is a win for the entire industry – clients, consumers, partners, consultants – and raises the bar for what employers and employees should expect from their engagement partner. Combining our product portfolios and resources allows us to maximize our investments in R&D and operations, and ensures that our clients and consumers have access to the best, most innovative wellbeing and engagement solutions and services available.”
“Our investment, which brings together two leaders in the health and wellbeing market, underscores our strong belief in the potential to transform this highly fragmented industry,” said Michael Anderson, a managing director at Marlin Equity Partners which also recently acquired RedBrick Health. “This is a multibillion-dollar market that is hungry for innovation, desperate for disruption and ripe for consolidation, and we are committed to doubling down on these two leaders to move this market forward and unlock the value of employee health and wellbeing.”
Virgin Pulse is widely recognized for having the industry’s highest member engagement rates, with daily usage rivaling the most popular consumer applications such as Facebook and Twitter. The company’s flagship SaaS platform, Virgin Pulse Engage™, delivers personalized, mobile-first experiences that support employees in improving their health and wellbeing every day. RedBrick Health was an early pioneer in delivering outcomes-focused health and benefits engagement solutions, and is highly regarded for its customizable integration platform, digital and live coaching, health assessments, biometric screening services and award-winning experience. With highly configurable workflows, integration capabilities, strong expertise in custom program design and a successful record of serving complex, distributed organizations, RedBrick has firmly established itself as the partner of choice for large enterprises.
Together, Virgin Pulse and RedBrick have the largest customer base in the industry, with over 3,300 clients including public sector organizations, health plans, universities and more than 20 percent of the Fortune Global 500 companies. The combination of the two companies also creates an extensive and growing network of strategic ecosystem partners spanning mental wellbeing, financial wellbeing, sleep, nutrition, telemedicine, cost transparency, treatment decision support and more.
RedBrick and Virgin Pulse will unite under the Virgin Pulse name but continue to operate as separate brands. The combined organization will be based out of Virgin Pulse’s corporate headquarters in Providence, RI, and will maintain a major office in Minneapolis, MN and a coaching center in Phoenix, AZ. The company also has global centers of excellence in multiple international locations, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Bosnia, Brazil and Singapore.
Marlin is acquiring Virgin Pulse from its prior investors, including Insight Venture Partners. The merger is expected to close this month. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Evercore acted as financial advisor and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal advisor to Virgin Pulse. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. acted as financial advisor, and Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal advisor to RedBrick. William Blair & Company, LLC acted as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Marlin.
About Virgin Pulse
Virgin Pulse, a leading provider of technology solutions that promote employee engagement and wellbeing, and part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, helps employers create workforces that are happier, healthier and ultimately more productive. The company’s modern, mobile-first platform delivers a personalized user experience that utilizes gamification to engage members in building habits that inspire meaningful and measurable change across individuals and the businesses they serve. By helping employees thrive at work and in all aspects of life, Virgin Pulse is helping change lives and businesses across more than 190 countries for good. More than 3,200 organizations around the world, representing many of the Fortune 500 and Best Places to Work, have selected Virgin Pulse’s solutions to engage their workforces and drive their businesses forward. To learn more, visit VirginPulse.com and follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
About RedBrick Health
RedBrick helps companies transform the health of their organizations by inspiring their people to be fully engaged in life and at work. Starting with each person’s unique needs, RedBrick combines advanced behavior science, adaptive technology and a deep bench of live experts. The industry’s most highly configurable platform actively integrates each organization’s benefits and resources with RedBrick’s own extensive content and capabilities. Hundreds of leading organizations rely on RedBrick to measurably improve their well-being and benefits engagement, while delivering a better employee experience. To learn more, visit RedBrickHealth.com and follow the company on Twitter or LinkedIn.
About Marlin Equity Partners
Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $6.7 billion of capital under management. The firm is focused on providing corporate parents, shareholders and other stakeholders with tailored solutions that meet their business and liquidity needs. Marlin invests in businesses across multiple industries where its capital base, industry relationships and extensive network of operational resources significantly strengthen a company’s outlook and enhance value. Since its inception, Marlin, through its group of funds and related companies, has successfully completed over 120 acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in London. For more information, please visit www.marlinequity.com.