The analysts assessment that the market for “postponing human death” could be worth $610 billion by 2025. But that doesn’t sit well with Christian Angermeier, who co-founded Cambrian BioPharma and Rejuveneron and whose family office Apeiron Investment Group has a special interest in extending longevity.
“It’s a meaningless, imaginary number that’s almost entirely made up by the cosmetics and nutritional supplement industry,” Angermeier said of the $610 billion estimate. In his view, the total addressable market of longevity plays is both smaller and potentially much larger than that.
“Right now,” Angermeier told TechCrunch, “the industry for in fact the delay of human death is zero, as there are no products on the market that are proven to slow down aging. Once the first are proven in a clinical trial, we expect this to go from zero to a trillion dollar industry within a decade. It will be so fast.”
He is not alone in this. There seems to be interest in the space growing rapidly in the VC community, so I talked to five investors to get a better idea of where longevity technology is headed and how big the market will become.
According to JME Ventures partner Samuel Gill, the longevity possibilities are “endless.” “Space is just getting started and will permeate all aspects of our lives in the next five to 10 years,” he says.
He added: “There are multiple angles to solving problems for very heterogeneous groups with different requirements. Health vs. Life Span, Pet vs. Human Longevity, Biotech vs. Wellness, Elderly vs. Young, Dependency vs. Autonomy, Prevention vs. Treatment, Analytics, Education, Infrastructure.”
However, some startups in the space are still looking for more sources of capital. According to Longevity MarketCap newsletter author Nathan Cheng and his partner in Healthspan Capital, Sebastian Brunemeier, startups that operate at the intersection of biotech and longevity could still use more capital. “The whole field of longevity is underfunded compared to other areas of biotech and private equity,” the two said. “We expect it will be another five years or so before long-lived biotechs enter the mainstream investor consciousness.”
There are several reasons why longevity is not yet attracting more funds. Just the premise of much longer life can lead to strong opinions about ethics, environmental implications and overpopulation, not to mention the prospect of reversing aging.
But the problems that longevity solutions must solve go far beyond aging and improving quality of life.
“The 40 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S. aren’t just a small problem,” said Techstars’ Keith Camhi, who led Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator in partnership with Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures.
“The size and scope of the unpaid family care economy and what goes on there is a key part of our health system that shouldn’t be overlooked just because everyone is doing it on a voluntary basis,” he said
They are betting that startups will be able to tackle this problem, which also negatively affects diversity in the workplace. “It’s completely career-destructive and it’s disproportionately for women,” Kamhi said.
The wide range of topics mentioned here may have given you an idea of the breadth of the longevity sector. Read the full study to learn more about where longevity technology is now, where it’s headed, and what these investors are looking for in performance.