Skip to main content

Thrive AI Health: Ariana Huffington’s vision, eight years in the making

Arianna Huffington has nailed the master plan she conceived eight years ago for Thrive Global, with yesterday’s the launch of Thrive AI Health in partnership with Sam Altman and OpenAI. Some on social media were quick to dismiss the announcement as an attempt to catch the artificial intelligence and chatbot wave, but the reality is that Ariana Huffington and Thrive Global have been working to “solve” the challenge of behavioral change for nearly a decade. In fact, Huffington was one of the first to pioneer the wellness space and talk about once-taboo topics like burnout, at a time when “hustle culture” and “growth at all costs” was the prevalent mindset.

Here’s a look back at where it all started, and how Thrive Global got here:

Thrive Global - Series A Pitch Deck - Cover Slide

In 2005, Ariana Huffington founded The Huffington Post (now known as HuffPost) with Andrew Breitbart, Kenneth Leer, and Jonah Peretti. Peretti founded the embattled Millennial media sensation, BuzzFeed, which now owns HuffPost (and recently sold Complex for cents on the dollar). After selling HuffPost to AOL in 2013 for $315 million, Huffington remained editor-in-chief until 2016.

That year, she departed to launch Thrive Global with the mission of ending stress and Β the burnout epidemic to unlock human potential. At the time (nearly ten years ago), she was one of only a few executives to recognize and talk about burnout β€” years before ‘wellness’ became a global phenomenon.

Thrive Global - Series C Pitch Deck - Mission Slide

The slides pictured here are from two pitch decks that Thrive Global used:

Thrive’s original vision was building B2B and B2C offerings for behavioral change. Their original deck was incredibly simple, with minimal branding beyond the short-lived purple color scheme: the deck’s mobile app mockups were a glamor shot of Ariana Huffington and the slides were mostly composed of basic Microsoft Office diagrams!

Thrive Global - Series A Pitch Deck - Solution Slide Β Thrive Global - Series A Pitch Deck - Product Slide

Five years later, when Thrive raised Series C funding that valued the company over $700M, this vision had come to life.

Thrive Global - Series C Pitch Deck - Product Slide

Thrive’s B2B clientele included names like SAP, Salesforce, Accenture and Walmart.

Thrive Global - Series C Pitch Deck - Traction Slide

Back in 2021, Thrive had already set their sights on solving “the largest problem in healthcare” β€” behavioral change. Thrive healthcare offerings aimed to bring a “behavioral layer” to the health space.

Thrive Global - Series C Pitch Deck - Market Slide Thrive Global - Series C Pitch Deck - Product Slide

Three years later, Ariana Huffington announced she and Thrive are teaming up with Sam Altman and OpenAI to build an AI health coach. Thrive AI Health seems like a natural next evolution of Thrive Global’s mission to drive behavioral change for wellbeing. See Thrive Global’s full pitch decks and thousands more at

Thrive AI Health Announcement