Employee wellness platforms Virgin Pulse, RedBrick Health to merge

By Laura Lovett
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This morning, the employee wellness and health engagement platforms Virgin Pulse and RedBrick Health announced that they are merging under the Virgin Pulse name. The merger comes after Marlin Equity Partners' acquisition of RedBrick Health last week and Virgin Pulse today, both for an undisclosed sum.

“We are thrilled to join with RedBrick to set a new vision and standard for employee health, wellbeing, and engagement,” Virgin Pulse CEO David Osborne, who will continue serving as CEO of the combined company, said in a statement. “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.” 

The plan is to make both platforms’ capabilities available to their combined customers. The newly merged company will continue to support and innovate on both the Virgin Pulse and RedBrick platforms, according to the companies.

Included in these offerings will be Virgin Pulse’s signature feature, the SaaS platform Virgin PulseEngage, which offers personalized, mobile-first experiences that support employees as they improve their health. The offerings will also include RedBrick Health’s digital and live coaching, health assessments, and biometric screening services. 

The companies said that by the years end, Virgin Pulse clients will have access to RedBrick’s health assessments, digital health coaching, and benefits navigation through the Virgin Pulse API framework. Meanwhile, RedBrick’s clients will gain access to Virgin Pulse’s challenge capabilities. 

The pair now have more than 3,300 combined clients across public sector organizations, health plans, and universities. 

Both companies have been in the space for some time. RedBrick was founded in 2006 and as of 2014 had a disclosed funding of $46 million.

Virgin Pulse, originally founded under the name Virgin HealthMiles as part of the Virgin Group, was one of the early entrants into the digital health and wellness game. As of today, Marlin Equity Partners has purchased all of Virgin Group's remaining equity in the company. 

“Virgin Pulse and RedBrick are a logical fit, and it should be no surprise that we are finally coming together,” Dan Ryan, CEO of RedBrick, said in a statement. “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.” 

The headquarters of the merged company will be in Virgin Pulse’s corporate headquarters in Providence, RI, but the company will maintain and office in Minneapolis, MN, where RedBrick was originally based. 

“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,” Michael Anderson, a managing director at Marlin Equity Partners, said in a statement.

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