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.
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.
Business Partner for Calm
From Moshi Monsters to a $1bn unicorn
February 6, 2019
Tech Wunderkind Michael Acton Smith Tells All About His Wellness App Calm
August 15, 2017
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
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