Maximon launches longevity clinic brand as first venture turns profitable

Swiss company builder demonstrates that a focus on the short-term upside of longevity can deliver compelling returns to investors.

This month, longevity company builder Maximon will enter the growing longevity clinic market when it opens the doors of its first AYUN clinic in Zurich. The Swiss firm’s latest venture aims to deliver a proactive, personalized approach to health, leveraging the latest diagnostics and scientifically validated treatments to help its clients live longer, healthier lives.

AYUN is the latest consumer-focused longevity play to emerge from the Maximon stable, joining longevity supplements firm Avea Life, health analytics company Biolytica, senior co-living provider Mana, and female reproductive health company Frieda Health. And more are yet to come…

Maximon’s longevity clinic brand AYUN will soon open its first center in the heart of Zurich.

Longevity.Technology: In contrast to the longer-term, biotech focus of fellow company builder Apollo Health, Maximon is all about building companies that deliver healthy aging solutions today. And the approach seems to be working – Avea Life recently reported that it had turned profitable after less than three years in operation, following annual growth rates of 300 to 400%. To learn more about Maximon’s approach and progress, we caught up with founding partner Marc P Bernegger.

While Bernegger and his colleagues at Maximon are excited about the prospect of future developments in longevity drug development, they believe that there is still huge potential to impact on human longevity based on current evidence.

“It’s great that you have many research and development initiatives taking a 10-to-20-year perspective on longevity, but we ideally want to have a measurable impact today,” says Bernegger. “If we can improve the quality of life of humans today by offering specific longevity-related treatments, that’s a key element for us.”

First venture already profitable

Having only launched in 2021, Maximon has already created five longevity companies, each of which Bernegger says must be able to demonstrate measurable, science-backed impact on the aging of humans.

“Compared to other areas of longevity, like biotech, we have a very short-term perspective – we try to identify business models where there is an existing market today,” he explains. “For example, Avea, our very first venture, was generating revenue from day one and reached around two million in monthly revenue just two years after we started it.”

Marc Bernegger is a founding partner of Maximon.

When it comes to Maximon’s approach to company building, the firm has two ways that new ventures typically come into being. The first is coming up with potential ideas “in-house”.

“We have developed quite a well-organized funnel for our in-house approach,” says Bernegger. “We now have 12 people working full time mainly focusing on that, including several scientists who ensure that a company is not just a nice business case, but that it also has clear scientific backing. And then we hire the founders and build the business model together with them.”

But Maximon is also open to approaches from beyond the company’s walls.

“We have many researchers reaching out to us with their own ideas,” says Bernegger. “For example, there is a collagen precursor product we have patented at Avea, which has nine years of Stanford and ETH Zurich research behind it. It was brought to us as an idea, and we worked together with the research facilities to find a way to bring it to market as a product.”

Before an idea is selected to be turned into a company, Maximon first conducts a comprehensive “validation phase” that can take up to six to nine months.

“We do market analysis, we ask potential customers, we do mystery shopping to see what already exists in the market,” says Bernegger. “We have a very well structured, systematic approach. After that, we decide on the business model and then we really get started – founding the company and financing it properly.”

More longevity ventures on the way

When it comes to financing, Maximon doesn’t hold back, putting up to 10 million CHF of its own money into its ventures.

“That’s maybe also how we’re a little bit different to some other company builders, in that we don’t just do 200k and an office desk,” says Bernegger. “We really put substantial skin in the game.”

Once its ventures are up and running, Maximon operates in the background, playing a supporting role and allowing its founders to get on with the day-to-day business of running a longevity company. 

“We let the founders speak for themselves – it shouldn’t be us in the spotlight,” says Bernegger.  “So, as soon as the companies reach a certain level, then our role is to focus more on the next ones coming through.”

Speaking of next ones, Bernegger says that Maximon has a host of new longevity ventures at various stages of the company creation process.

“We’ve got quite a big pipeline of future project ideas, including companies focused on things like the microbiome, skin longevity, animal longevity and cancer prevention,” he says. “But nothing we have finally agreed on or announced yet.”

Fundraising an ongoing priority

When it comes to the fundraising side of the business, Maximon has raised more than $30 million via its Longevity Co-Investment Fund, but a key focus for Bernegger and his partners is to raising much more funding to build additional longevity companies.

“Fundraising in general is far more difficult today than it was a few years ago,” he says. “But having a company like Avea showing these great numbers is helping make the case for investing into a longevity company building model like ours. We are seeing many investors who are invested in biotech exposure, and they’re excited to see what’s happening in 10 to 15 years from now, but they also want to profit from the short-term upside of longevity.”

Having invested in the early days of both the internet and cryptocurrency booms, Bernegger sees parallels between those times and the current stage of the longevity market.

“At the moment, the space is still relatively small, and these are the stages where it’s not about competing, but rather about building a new market,” he says. “We don’t see anybody as a direct competitor. The way we see it, the more serious players joining the space, raising money, building companies, bringing talent into the space, the better for everybody. It’s a very collaborative industry at the moment.”