Connect with us

Crunchbase

When 90 Is Young: What A Moonshot VC Thinks About Radical Longevity

When most of

Published

on

When most of us think about living to a ripe old age, we envision celebrating our 90th birthday, still in good health. Maybe a few of us will even make it to centenarian status.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

For Sergey Young, such a best-case scenario sounds preposterously pessimistic. With advances in AI-enabled diagnostics, wearables, regenerative medicine, age-reversing pills, and other longevity-focused areas of innovation, a child born today can expect to live well over 100. In the much longer term, it’s within the realm of possibility that we could be looking at living to 200 years or more, said Young.

Yes, much of it is moonshot stuff. But for Young and a smallish but growing cohort of futurists, scientists, investors and extreme longevity enthusiasts, the quest to radically extend the human lifespan is, pardon the pun, a deadly serious pursuit.

As founder of the Longevity Vision Fund, a venture vehicle dedicated to breakthroughs in age-related disease, Young has made investments to date in 16 companies in areas from AI-enabled drug discovery to cancer-detecting blood tests to organ regeneration. The common thread is that each is working on advances that, if successful, could help more of us stick around in corporeal form a little longer. After raising $100 million for Fund I, Young says he is targeting $150 million to $250 million for Fund II, with initial commitments already lined up.

Crunchbase News sat down with Young earlier this week to chat about his eclectic portfolio, upcoming book, and perceptions on the likelihood of radical life extension. The following conversation is edited for length and clarity.

Q: You’re publishing a book in August: “The Science And Technology Of Growing Young.” In it, you cover a lot of material, including innovators, companies, and some tips for living longer. One of the concepts you talk a lot about is the near horizon and far horizon of longevity. I thought maybe we could start by talking about this idea.

A: I talk about the three horizons of longevity. It’s a very important framework to put everything we hear about longevity in particular buckets.

Horizon One is what we can do today to stay on the path of longevity and in good health. It’s about wearables, DIY diagnostics, diet, digital healthcare delivery, and a lot of apps. Some people call it boring stuff, but things like early cancer diagnostics completely disrupt the space of oncology. In radiology, for instance, we’re seeing diagnosis by AI and human radiologists. These are all things that are happening now.

Horizon Two is the near horizon. These are technologies that will be available in the next 5, 10, or 15 years that will not only slow down aging, but reverse the aging processes. This includes areas like gene therapy, regenerative medicine and age reversal drugs.

Then there’s the Far Horizon. This is a way for us to think about the next 25 to 50 years. I’m waiting for this with a combination of excitement and fear. This is things like complete organ replacement, machine-brain integration and the “Internet of body.”

Q: As an investor today, which horizon are you most focused on?

A: We are 70 percent focused on Near Horizon. What are the top three picks in the near horizon? As I mentioned, one is genetic and gene therapy — because soon we will be able to change our DNA makeup to influence aging. The biggest obstacles will not be science and technology, but regulation and ethics.

Another area is regenerative medicine. I’m personally fascinated by organ regeneration technologies — the ability to replace your organs, upgrade them. We have a portfolio company, LyGenesis, in this space that recently got FDA approval to start trials in patients with end-stage liver disease.

I also believe in five to 10 years we will have a new class of age-reversal drugs. This could be drugs already in use for other therapies, like metformin, the diabetes drug, and rapamycin.

Q: According to the CDC, average life expectancy for an American born today is around 78 years. But reading your book, I get the impression you think those projections are way off. How should we be readjusting our expectations?

A: I think if we look at the (CDC) newborn life expectancy figure, we should be thinking: It’s like predicting in 1921 what will happen in the world in 2021. I’m pretty sure we can add 10 to 20 years to that predicted lifespan if we’re mindful of preventative medicine and a healthy lifestyle. And if you do that, 100 years is pretty much guaranteed to anyone below the age of 20.

Q: Not only are we innovating a lot around longevity, the pace of innovation is accelerating too. How do you envision healthcare providers and consumers adapting as breakthroughs happen at a faster pace?

That’s a huge problem that we need to address. It’s widely cited that it takes an average of 17 years for research evidence to reach clinical practice. So we need new disruptive technologies to disrupt the current systems or develop a parallel system.

Think about phones. Thirty years ago, a very basic cell cost thousands. Right now, you can buy a working smartphone for as low as $9. That’s exactly what will happen in healthcare. It will be more valuable, more direct-to-consumer, more data driven, and more efficient. In 10 years, I expect the largest healthcare players will be Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple. Because they have the data.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Yes, much of it is moonshot stuff. But for Young and a smallish but growing cohort of futurists, scientists, investors and extreme longevity enthusiasts, the quest to radically extend the human lifespan is, pardon the pun, a deadly serious pursuit.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/when-90-is-young-what-a-moonshot-vc-thinks-about-radical-longevity/

Crunchbase

The Briefing: (11-29-21)

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Published

on

Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

India’s Slice snags $220M

Slice, an Indian startup that offers payment cards with a marketing focus on young professionals, raised $220 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global and Insight Partners.

The financing sets a valuation of over $1 billion for the Bangalore-based company, which was founded in 2016. In addition to using its cards for payments, Slice also provides installment payment features and discounts at various merchants.

Funding rounds

Thought Machine picks up $200M: London-based Thought Machine, provider of a cloud-based banking technology platform for financial services customers, raised $200 million in a Series C funding round led by Nyca Partners. The round sets a valuation of over $1 billion for the seven-year-old company.

Motorway raises $190M: London-based Motorway, a used car marketplace, raised $190 million in a Series C round led by Index Ventures and ICONIQ Growth. Founded in 2017, the company has raised around $276 million in total funding to date, per Crunchbase data.

— Joanna Glasner

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Thought Machine picks up $200M: London-based Thought Machine, provider of a cloud-based banking technology platform for financial services customers, raised $200 million in a Series C funding round led by Nyca Partners. The round sets a valuation of over $1 billion for the seven-year-old company.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-11-29-21/

Continue Reading

Crunchbase

The Week’s 10 Biggest Funding Rounds: Crypto Conglomerate Leads The Way, Self-Driving Car Startup Nuro Revs Up Big Round

No $1 billion round this week, but U.S.-based startups did manage to raise three rounds of more than a half-billion dollars, as investors remained attracted to the crypto market, self-driving cars and new, clean energy production

Published

on

This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. Check out last week’s entry here.

No $1 billion round this week, but U.S.-based startups did manage to raise a couple of rounds of a half-billion dollars or more, as investors remained attracted to self-driving cars, new, clean energy production and fintech.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

1. Nuro, $600M, autonomous cars: Mountain View, California-based self-driving car startup Nuro raised a $600 million Series D from investors including Google and Tiger Global Management. The new round of funding brings Nuro’s valuation up to $8.6 billion, TechCrunch reported. Nuro is designing a fleet of electric self-driving vehicles to transport packages. The investment from Google is noteworthy because it includes a partnership with Google Cloud—something important as it looks to deploy its fleets. Founded in 2016, the company has now raised more than $2 billion, according to Crunchbase data.

2. Helion Energy, $500M, energy: Everett, Washington-based Helion Energy raised $500 million in a Series E funding round led by Sam Altman. The fusion energy startup will use the cash to help complete the construction of Polaris, Helion’s seventh-generation fusion generator. The energy company is looking to produce low-cost around-the-clock power generation with a zero-carbon footprint. The funding includes an opportunity for an additional $1.7 billion tied to reaching performance milestones.

3. HoneyBook, $250M, fintech: The freelance market continues to expand and San Francisco-based HoneyBook closed a $250 million Series E round led by Tiger Global Management to help those in it manage their work better. The company’s platform helps both freelancers and independent business owners manage their customers—from their first interactions though invoicing and payment. Since being founded in 2013, the company has raised $498 million, according to Crunchbase data.

4. Treasure Data, $234M, data analytics: Companies are looking for any advantage they can get to drive better digital customer experiences. Mountain View, California-based customer data platform Treasure Data closed a $234 million investment led by SoftBank on the promise of just that. The company’s platform leverages customer data in an attempt to drive the best possible experiences while also protecting privacy.

5. Everlaw, $202M, legal tech: Oakland, California-based litigation platform Everlaw closed $202 million in a Series D led by TPG Growth at a $2 billion valuation. Everlaw has watched total cases on its platform more than double since its $62 million Series C in March 2020. Companies in the legaltech sector have seen increased interest from investors this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced more firms to adopt cloud-native technologies. Founded in 2010, the company has raised just less than $300 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.

6. When I Work, $200M, productivity tool: Minneapolis-based When I Work, provider of a platform for hourly workers and their employers to share, plan and track work schedules, has raised $200 million in a growth funding round backed by Bain Capital. Founded in 2010, the company previously raised at least $24 million in known funding and is currently profitable.

7. Plate IQ, $160M, fintech: San Francisco-based restaurant and hospitality payments platform PlateIQ raised a $160 million Series B.

8 to 10. We have a four-way tie for the last three spots this week, as San Francisco-based fintech platform Chipper Cash, San Diego-based hospitality platform Cloudbeds, Los Angeles-based video game engine Mythical Games, and Miami-based senior-assistance platform Papa all raised $150 million rounds.

Big global deals

U.S.-based startups dominated the largest rounds this past week, taking the top six spots. However, two China-based startups saw big funding rounds.

  • Autonomous driving startup Momenta closed a $200 million round.
  • Sugar-free and low-calorie beverage marker Genki Forest also closed a $200 million venture round.

Methodology

We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of Oct. 30 to Nov. 5. Although most announced rounds are represented in the database, there could be a small time lag as some rounds are reported late in the week.

Note: This story has been revised to reflect New York-based Digital Currency Group’s $700 million deal was a secondary offering and not a new fundraise.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/biggest-vc-startup-funding-deals-digital-currency-group-nuro/

Continue Reading

Crunchbase

The Briefing: Hailo Lands $136M Series C, SupportLogic Closes $50M Series B, and more

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Published

on

Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

Hailo lands $136M for AI chips

Tel Aviv-based Hailo, a startup developing AI accelerator chips for edge devices, announced that it raised $136 million in a Series C funding round led by Poalim and entrepreneur Gil Agmon. The round brings Hailo’s total funding to $224 million.

— Joanna Glasner

SupportLogic raises $50M Series B

San Jose -based SupportLogic closed a $50 million Series B funding round led by WestBridge Capital Partners and General Catalyst. Existing investors Sierra Ventures and Emergent Ventures also participated in the round.

SupportLogic’s AI-based platform allows businesses to act on customer communications in real-time in order to offer better customer service and support.

Founded in 2016, the company has raised approximately $62 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.

— Chris Metinko

SaaS

GitLab raises IPO range: San Francisco-based GitLab, a provider of development and collaboration tools for programmers, raised the proposed share price range for its upcoming IPO. The company now plans to raise around $700 million by offering 10.4 million shares at a price range of $66 to $69, up from the prior range of $55 to $60.

— Joanna Glasner

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-12-21/

Continue Reading

Trending