Analysts estimate that the market for “delaying human death” could be worth $610 billion by 2025. But that doesn’t sit well with Christian Angermayer, who co-founded Cambrian BioPharma and Rejuveneron, and whose family office Apeiron Investment Group has a special interest in expanding longevity.
“This is a nonsensical, imaginary number that is almost entirely made up by the cosmetics and supplements industry,” Angermayer said of the $610 billion estimate. In his view, the total addressable market of longevity-related plays is both smaller and potentially much larger than that.
“Right now,” Angermayer told TechCrunch, “the industry for actually delaying human death is zero, because there are no products on the market being sold that have been shown to delay aging. Once the first ones are proven in a clinical trial, we expect that to go from zero to a trillion-dollar industry within a decade. It will be that fast.”
He’s not alone in believing that. Interest in the space seems to be growing rapidly in the VC community, so I spoke with five investors to get a better idea of where longevity tech is headed and just how big the market stands to become.
According to JME Ventures partner Samuel Gil, the opportunities in longevity are “endless.” “The space is only getting started now and will infiltrate all aspects of our life in the next five to 10 years,” he says.
He added, “There are multiple angles to solve problems for very heterogeneous groups with different requirements. Health span versus life span, longevity for pets versus humans, biotech versus wellness, seniors versus young people, dependency versus autonomy, prevention versus treatment, analytics, education, infrastructure.”
That said, some startups in the space are still looking for more sources of capital. According to LongevityMarketCap newsletter author Nathan Cheng and his partner at Healthspan Capital, Sebastian Brunemeier, startups that work at the intersection of biotech and longevity could still use more capital. “The entire field of longevity is underfunded relative to other areas of biotech and private investment,” the pair said. “We expect that it will be another five years or so before longevity biotech enters the general investor consciousness.”
There are several reasons why longevity isn’t attracting more funding yet. Simply the premise of a much longer life can result in strong opinions about ethics, the environmental implications and overpopulation thrown your way, let alone the prospect of reversing aging.
But the problems longevity solutions stand to solve go far beyond aging and improving quality of life.
“The U.S.’s 40 million unpaid family caregivers are not just a little bit of a problem,” said Keith Camhi of Techstars, which runs the Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator in partnership with Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures.
“The size and scope of the economy for unpaid family caregiving and what’s happening there is a key part of our healthcare system that shouldn’t be missed just because everyone’s doing it on a volunteer basis,” he said
They’re betting that startups will be able to address this issue, which also negatively impacts diversity in the workplace. “It’s completely disruptive to careers, and it’s disproportionately so to women,” said Camhi.
The wide range of topics mentioned here may have given you a glimpse of the sheet breadth of the longevity sector. Read the full survey to learn more about where longevity tech stands now, where it is heading and what these investors look for in a pitch.