Longevity-focused startups have proliferated in recent years as we become more focused on our health. But it’s not just about apps to get you into the gym. Longevity startups can range from biotech-based disease prevention to organ regeneration. The Agency for Aging Analysis estimates that global investment in longevity-focused startups will reach more than $40 billion in 2021, and the market could grow to $600 billion by 2025, according to Bank of America.
Investors such as Apollo Health are now raising large sums – such as their $180m fund in November, while Maximon, a Swiss longevity company, raised a €96m fund to name just two in Europe.
Now a new fund is coming from the US to join the fray.
Based in New York Life Extension Enterprises is a new $100 million fund that it says will focus on “longevity for people and the planet.” In practice, this will mean supporting founders who are accelerating the science of longevity.
This includes areas such as people, animals, agriculture, food, energy and transport, as well as AI, direct-to-consumer, web3, infrastructure as a service, platforms and markets.
Fortunately, the founders of the fund will know what they are talking about, as the team has multiple PhDs, successful startups and angel investments behind them.
Life Extension LPs include founders and investors from other VCs, unicorn founders and large institutions.
The team includes Dr. Inaki Berengerthe co-founder of Life Extension, who studied at MIT and Columbia before founding Pixable (acquired by Singtel) and CoverWallet (acquired by Aon in 2020).
Co-founder Dr. Amol Sarwa studied cognitive science at Stanford and Columbia and taught entrepreneurship at Columbia. He also gave WeWork a run for its money with flexible office unicorn Knotel, and also launched Peek (acquired by SoftBank).
The couple has previously made angel investments in startups such as Galatea Bio, a DNA database for genome discovery; DeepCell, the computer vision company that uses AI to create a database of cell morphology, which raised $100 million; and Particle Health, which raised $40 million.
During a conversation, Sarva told me, “There was cleantech 1.0, cleantech 2.0, and something similar is happening in the biotech universe now. Software now intersects with science in a new and different way and makes the possibility more like technology.”
Berenguer added: “We will focus on software and data-driven companies in this category. Most of the entrepreneurs we will support are not your typical biologists in a lab doing experiments. They will simulate experiments, analyze this data. They will, for example, commercialize the use of APIs within marketplaces. So it’s very similar to what happened with the internet 20 years ago.
Sarva continued: “The future of humanity definitely depends on what we do for people, but also for the planet we live on. This is the same. These are the same technologies and science. This has an impact. It’s biology and chemistry. It impacts humans on agriculture, food, even energy production. This cutting-edge science really is the key to everything. So we decided to go find where science and software intersect. This will have a huge impact.”
Headquartered in New York, the fund will also have team members in Madrid, London and San Francisco.