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Rival Employee Health Cos. Virgin Pulse, RedBrick Health Merge to Form Industry Leader

Richard Branson-owned Virgin Pulse and Minneapolis-based RedBrick together serve over 3,300 public companies, universities and many businesses within the Fortune Global 500.

Rival Employee Health Cos. Virgin Pulse, RedBrick Health Merge to Form Industry Leader
Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin Pulse.
Rival employee health and benefits companies Virgin Pulse and RedBrick Health have agreed to a merger deal that will create what the businesses are jointly calling “the world’s largest, most comprehensive digital health and engagement company.”
 
Virgin Pulse CEO David Osborne will take over the combined company, which will keep the Virgin Pulse name and its corporate headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island. The business will also maintain a “major office” in Minneapolis, where RedBrick was based.
 
“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,” said Osborne in a statement. “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.”
 
Virgin Pulse, a subsidiary within Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, employs 591 people worldwide, according to the Associated Press. RedBrick’s headcount is said to be around 450.
 
Virgin Pulse is best known for its flagship service as a system (SaaS) platform, Virgin Pulse Engage, that gamifies behaviors in and out of work to instill healthier and more productive habits among employees. RedBrick, which was founded in 2006 by former employees of Definity Health, incorporates employee health assessments and screenings to create benefit plans tailored to the individual. Employees receive encouragement to follow their plans through digital and live coaching.
 
Virgin Pulse and RedBrick claim their services run the health gamut: covering mental wellbeing, financial wellbeing, sleep, nutrition, telemedicine and more.
 
The two companies together serve over 3,300 clients, which make up 20 percent of the Fortune Global 500 companies.
 
“This is a multibillion-dollar market that is hungry for innovation, desperate for disruption and ripe for consolidation,” said Michael Anderson, a managing director at Marlin Equity Partners, which had recently acquired RedBrick. “We are committed to doubling down on these two leaders to move this market forward and unlock the value of employee health and wellbeing.”
 
With major offices in Providence and Minneapolis, the new company will also manage a coaching center in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as “global centers of excellence” in Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Bosnia, Brazil, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
 
“Combining our product portfolios and resources allows us to maximize our investments in research and development and operations,” said RedBrick CEO Dan Ryan in prepared remarks. “Virgin Pulse and RedBrick are a logical fit, and it should be no surprise that we are finally coming together.”
 
The companies expect their merger to be finalized before the start of June. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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