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Michael Acton Smith

Michael Acton Smith

A British businessman and author who co-founded Mind Candy, Calm, and Firebox, among others. He is also the creator of Moshi Monsters.

Michael Acton Smith is a San Francisco-based entrepreneur and businessman who has been launching businesses for over 20 years. He works in the technology, music, and gaming industries.

Young Life and start of his career

Acton Smith was born in Marlow, England and attended the University of Birmingham. After completing college and a short stint working in human resources at an investment bank, he decided to start his first company, Firebox. It was an e-commerce company that sold toys, gadgets, and games. He continued to develop ideas for companies, resulting in his next venture: Mind Candy.

Continuing entrepreneurship

Acton Smith launched Mind Candy in 2003. The company was an online game that produced clues for users to decode, eventually leading to a cash prize. The game was completed in 2007 when a user found the artifact needed to win the game and the monetary reward. Acton Smith continued to brainstorm ideas for his next company, which ended up being Moshi Monsters.

Moshi Monsters was another online venture, but this one was designed for children. They could log onto the website and make and take care of monster pets. On the website, there were also games, puzzles, and a messaging system for the children using it. It is estimated that half of all children in the United Kingdom had a Moshi Monster at the time. As smartphones and tablets began to rise in popularity, the company did not transition successfully from browser use to mobile use and the company decreased in size.

In 2011, Acton Smith launched Silicon Drinkabout, which is an after work meetup for those working in technology start-ups. The following year, he founded Calm with Alex Tew. This company is a health technology company that has an application dedicated to wellness and provides services to its users, such as guided meditations, bedtime stories, and stretching videos. As of 2019, the company is valued at $1 billion dollars.


Michael Acton Smith was born in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


Further Resources


5 MIN TALK: Helping the World with Michael Acton Smith, CEO, Calm

December 5, 2016

Calm CEO Michael Acton Smith on the company's new funding

February 6, 2019

From Moshi Monsters to a $1bn unicorn

Rory Cellan-Jones


February 6, 2019

Tech Wunderkind Michael Acton Smith Tells All About His Wellness App Calm

Bridget Arsenault


August 15, 2017


Emily Canal
December 8, 2020
Business Insider
Fresh off a $75 million fundraise, the founders are dreaming of B2B expansions and a Calm-branded island, made to be the world's most relaxing resort.
Jordan Crook
April 21, 2020
"If your kids aren't sleeping, you aren't sleeping," says Moshi founder and CEO Ian Chambers. As mindfulness apps grow increasingly popular among adults, Moshi is looking to bring mindfulness and meditative techniques to children. The app today announced the close of a $12 million Series B financing led by Accel, with participation from Latitude Ventures [...]
Eric Peckham
February 4, 2020
Mental wellness unicorn Calm has more than two million subscribers to its mindfulness and meditation app, raising over $140 million in funding to bring "mental fitness" practices into the daily lives of mainstream consumers. Anchored in a range of audio courses, the company has expanded to video and even book publishing. Co-founders and co-CEOs Michael [...]


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