Mindfulness, once a fringe activity considered a flower-powered remnant of the druggy 1960s, has officially entered the mainstream. Meditation is trendy, it sports endorsements by everyone from Cardi B to the late Steve Jobs, and there are a bazillion apps dedicated to helping folks decompress in this stressed-out world. One of the most successful of those is Headspace.
Founded in 2010, the wildly successful app was co-created by Andy Puddicombe, a London native who dropped out of college to became a Buddhist monk. Ordained at a remote Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas, he spent a decade training and teaching in various countries across Asia and Australasia before returning to London and launching Headspace with co-founder Rich Pierson.
Starting at the low price of $7.99 per month, Headspace users can access a full library of guided meditation sessions and a wide variety of related content. The pitch has been successful — the company has grown to 100+ employees across its offices in Santa Monica, San Francisco and London, and the app has long since surpassed one million “premium” users. And Puddicombe, the monk-turned-tech tycoon, has quickly grown extraordinarily wealthy.
How wealthy? Headspace remains private, but Puddicombe recently dropped $7.36 million on a Cape Cod-style home in a leafy and ultra-prime neighborhood pocket of Santa Monica. With more than 6,500 square feet of luxury interior space, the pleasantly attractive abode qualifies as a bonafide mansion.
Built in 2015 by a local developer, the clapboard-sided structure was sold that same year for $6.75 million to Gavin Donnelly, CEO of life insurance juggernaut Neilson Financial Services. Encircled by a white fence, the .17-acre lot features a stone-and-gravel walkway that leads past a gurgling fountain to the three-floor house, which is partially obscured from the street by a variety of evergreen trees.
The pleasantly neutral interiors include formal living and dining rooms, each with French doors accessing the outside gardens. An eat-in kitchen with dual farmhouse sinks opens to a fireplace-equipped family room, where a wall of glass sliders opens to a loggia-shaded terrace with outdoor fireplace. The backyard isn’t particularly big — as $7.36 million properties go, that is — but it does include a grassy lawn, an almost perfectly square plunge pool with inset spa, and a detached two-car garage accessible via a discreet alleyway.
Back indoors, there are four family bedroom suites upstairs — including the spacious master — and a fifth suite in the full basement that’s best-suited for a live-in housekeeper or guests. Also on the lower level is a lounge area/media room, a sauna, gym and a secondary kitchen space.
Some of Puddicombe’s nearest new neighbors include fellow entrepreneur Adam Jiwan, former Snapchat exec Micah Schaffer and billionaire Lowell Milken, the latter of whom owns not one, not two, but three adjacent houses directly across from the quietly swanky Puddicombe digs.