LongevityTech.fund founder compares today’s longevity investment market to the AI sector before valuations skyrocketed.
The last few years have exceeded all expectations in terms of investment activity in longevity, but much more is needed to push the field forward. With more than 40 investments in the longevity field over the past three years, LongevityTech.fund is one of the world’s most active longevity investment funds. The fund’s wide-ranging investment portfolio includes companies like BrainKey, Gerostate Alpha and Occuity.
LongevityTech.fund is now accepting new investors for its second fund, with a target fund size of $50 million up to a maximum of $100 million USD.
Longevity.Technology: LongevityTech.fund has built an impressive company portfolio that has seen no failures to date, with one IPO (longevity biotech Genflow Biosciences) and one company (longevity risk management firm Vesttoo) recently becoming the fund’s first unicorn (valued at more than $1 billion). To learn more about his views on the longevity market, we spoke to serial entrepreneur and investor Petr Sramek, LongevityTech.fund’s co-founder and managing partner.
Sramek says the fund had a 91% internal rate of return on its portfolio companies at the end of 2022 (non-audited results).
“We have been investing in longevity for almost three years now, and we have done more than 40 investments, which has given us a keen understanding of what is happening globally,” he says. “We have seen hundreds of companies from various fields within longevity and we have established strong connections with key research institutions and key opinion leaders across the field.”
It’s time to invest in longevity
Over the past three years, Sramek and his colleagues have observed that the longevity field is maturing, with more technologies getting closer to market.
“Many more clinical studies are now being conducted on human participants, not just in worms or mice,” he says. “And what we see, especially in our portfolio companies, is that there will be more and more progress in this direction over the next two years. We expect to see an acceleration of this development and a significant growth in investor awareness about the longevity opportunity over the next two years.”
This growing awareness will, says Sramek, lead to many more new investors entering longevity in 2025 and 2026, which will generally increase valuations across the field.
“Now is the right time to start investing in longevity, both in order to benefit from more favourable valuations, but also to help companies at a critical stage in the development of this market,” he says. “With our extensive market experience, we are in an excellent position to identify the right companies, with good potential supported by strong science.”
Longevity compared to AI market
Sramek come from a background in the AI industry, and he compares what’s going on in longevity today to what was happening in AI a few years ago.
“When AI first emerged, it was viewed as an extremely complex technology area – but now it has reached an awareness level where everyone is going crazy about ChatGPT like it’s some kind of huge breakthrough – even though the technology is years old,” he says. “So AI is now on the radar of almost every investor, but the real technology revolution in AI was happening a few years ago – today, it’s an evolution and scaleup. The main difference is that the awareness is now much greater.”
“From an investment perspective, longevity is now at the stage where AI was around four years ago. Some of the highest-valued AI firms today are now valued 100 times more than they were back then! In longevity, we are building revolutionary technology today. We are only missing the awareness factor. And this will come – not in 10 years’ time, but in the next two or three years.”
Longevity is a ‘mega trend’
The investment trend in a new market is often like an S-curve, where the beginning is slow in development, before accelerating to an exponential pace and then stabilising again. But in longevity, Sramek says that the market is more of a mega trend – a compounding effect of multiple small trends, like multiple S-curves.
“A combination of positive trends, like the emergence of new technologies and advances in clinical trials, with negative trends, such as increasing healthcare costs and the aging population, are multiplying all of these effects to create a growing demand for longevity solutions,” he says. “General investor awareness of this mega trend is not yet here, but it’s coming. And it’s coming in the next few years. And smart investors will get into the field before this happens.”
One of the reasons why mainstream investors have been slow to get into longevity, says Sramek, is because it is such a challenging field from a technical perspective.
“The complexity of aging and human biology is perhaps one of the most difficult problems we currently face, and it can be hard for inexperienced investors to distinguish between a good opportunity and a bad one,” he says. “This high barrier to entry means that valuations are currently lower than they perhaps should be because of the huge potential of the technology. And now is the time to take advantage of it.”
The importance of multiple shots on goal
Like many in the field, Sramek believes there is not going to be one singular answer, narrow approach or technology that solves aging and longevity.
“We are complex beings, in a complex environment, in a complex state over a period of time,” he says. “So, we are not betting on one area, like cellular senescence or epigenetic reprogramming. We believe that the solution will lie in a personalised and precise combination of various technologies addressing various situations. Therefore, we are building a comprehensive, synergistic set of portfolio companies.”
LongevityTech.fund has identified around 15 sub sectors of longevity, where it invests in various stages of development that provide short-term, mid-term, and long-term solutions.
“We are not only looking at solutions, but also at diagnostics and supporting technologies that enable scientific research or deployment of longevity solutions,” says Sramek. “One of our key criteria is to support companies that will enable the development of massively affordable solutions to ensure that longevity is made available to all.”
While LongevityTech.fund has investments spanning many areas of longevity, there are still many others that the fund wants to cover over the next three years.
“We aim to use our second fund to invest in another 30 or 40 companies to ensure we have a portfolio that covers most aspects of longevity,” says Sramek. “New areas that we are looking to invest in include extracellular matrices, applied AI for longevity, and tissue and organ regeneration technologies. Our new fund will be larger than our first, so we also aim to invest in more mature companies. We will still be covering early stages like pre-seed and seed rounds, but we will also plan to include more Series A and perhaps even some Series B investments in our strategy.”