Most of us are now familiar with apps that track what’s known as our “digital biomarkers.” These include the steps, we’ve taken, our heart rate and our weight. In recent years startups have appeared which can, in a relatively turnkey manner, track our “biomedical markers,” such as cholesterol levels, for instance. Few, however, are seeking to combine the two to get a 360-degree view of how our bodies are doing.
Into this gap steps Humanity Inc., which will seek to do exactly that. Founded by two seasoned entrepreneurs, Humanity will combine digital and biomedical biomarkers into a consumer app that will fully launch next year.
Today it announces its initial seed fundraise of $2.5 million in a round led by Boston fund One Way Ventures and the legendary and long-time health tech angel investor Esther Dyson, among others.
Serial entrepreneurs Peter Ward (who co-founded early social network WAYN) and Michael Geer (formerly of Badoo) are aiming to “help humanity live healthier, longer lives” with a health and longevity company that will leverage AI to maximize people’s health span.
Their aim is to give users the ability to monitor their “actual rate of aging” and show them which actions are working or not working, and how they can even potentially reverse the aging process.
They are attracting some leading names from the world of genetics and the science of aging, including George Church and Aubrey de Grey, to their “Science Advisory Board.”
De Grey is best known for co-founding the Methuselah Foundation, which runs the Methuselah Mouse Prize in search of anti-aging technologies.
In a statement, de Grey commented: “The scientists of the world are focusing more and more on aging science, which is thankfully accelerating breakthroughs exponentially. However, we still need better vehicles to deliver these discoveries directly to the people. That is what Humanity is poised to do and why I am so excited to support them on this mission.”
Semyon Dukach, the managing partner of Humanity’s lead investor One Way Ventures, said: “We’re proud to be leading this round and backing this extraordinary team, along with a number of other great investors including leading funds and angels in the consumer tech and health space. We believe in the Humanity mission and clearly the timing could not be better for people to get access to such a product.”
Ward added: “Many people feel helpless when it comes to avoiding disease and slowing down the aging process. In the COVID-19 world, where we all now clearly understand that risk increases significantly with age and poor health, people’s number one question is, rightly, ‘what actions can I take each day to stay healthy and for much longer?’ ”
Geer said: “People have never had an accurate clear feedback loop to help them know whether what they’re doing to be healthier was really working or not. We want to finally give them that superpower.”
Humanity is currently testing its Alpha product on “a few hundred users” and claims to have “thousands” waiting to gain early access. The app will launch in the U.K. and the U.S. in early 2021, followed by a global rollout in 2022.