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In this month’s Startups We’re Watching, the Seedrs team set their sights on the startups taking over the Wellness industry.
Discover the Swiss brand bringing outdoor exercises into your home with intelligent VR tools and the company helping us eat meat, guilt-free.
Karina Mazur – Seed
“I booked a Reiki session for Saturday because I’m concerned with the results from my smartring – apparently I’ve only been getting 5% deep sleep on average. Can you recommend a good supplements brand? I am in dire need of magnesium.”
This is a regular conversation with a friend of mine. The same friend who has replaced tequila shots with ginger shots and late night-take out with 48-hour fasting periods.
While memes poke fun at CEOs who claim that their road to success includes a morning routine of a 4am start – we’re all slowly but surely succumbing to adopting daily wellbeing habits that promise to make us feel better.
The Wellness industry is valued at $1.5 trillion globally, growing 5-10% each year. By 2030, it’s set to be a tech heavy, personalised and interconnected industry. With consumer emphasis on mindfulness, fitness, appearance, nutrition and overall health – companies who push the envelope and deliver on innovative new products will flourish.
Data is the focal point of the predicted success of these companies. This is why I have a keen interest in early stage startups, such as GenSmart. GenSmart harnesses our DNA composition to better understand how to become more physically efficient and optimise training. GenSmart has raised £350k in their pre-seed. Their partner company, Omnos, raised £1m in its seed round in April 2021.
Growing up, I always wished that one day becoming a superhero could become my own reality. Perhaps that future is not far off. With our continuous effort and interest in the best way to hack our own bodies, the ability to become the best version of oneself is becoming all the more possible.
Katherine Gilroy – Diverse Founders
In recent years, gut health has arguably become the latest and most talked about wellness trend – from kombucha, to probiotic yoghurts, to supplements and more. There is long established science which shows that our health is intrinsically linked to our gut. But it’s only in recent years that we’ve seen innovation specifically tackling this space for consumers.
One startup taking a different approach to gut health is Her1, founded in Berlin in 2017 by Chanyu Xu. The business states that today’s wellness and beauty revolution is about more than creams and makeup, and rather it starts with proper nutrition. They aim to specifically help women to tackle health problems holistically from the inside out.
Spotting a huge gap in the existing offering – with most health supplements designed by men and focusing on goals like weight loss or muscle gain – Xu founded Her1 to help women improve their overall health. Their products are focused on women, and offer products that are designed to help women at all ages and phases of life.
In 2021, the business raised a Series A round of €5.5m, led by Paris-based Five Seasons Ventures. Speaking about their investment, Five Seasons Ventures said “her1 is our first portfolio company where the founder, the majority of the management team and a large part of the company is all-female – a true for women, by women approach!” At the time of the investment, Her1 had reported an enormous 815% growth on the previous year. As they continue to expand across Europe we’re predicting big things for them.
Antony Tikhonov – Europe
Many entrepreneurs are seeing opportunities in the growing Wellness market. In addition to the general shift in consumer behaviour, Covid-19 has had a positive effect on quicker acceptance of new models and technologies.
Startups focusing on online meditation, yoga and fitness have seen immense growth in the number of downloads and stickiness of the users. Technologies like VR and AR have been evolving to provide an immersive experience for users in the comfort of their homes.
Holodia from Zurich, Switzerland, uses VR in connection to physical workout equipment to enhance the experience of working out. Think rowing machines, bicycles or elliptical machines.
Their VR device, HoloFIT Go, connects to a fitness machine via Bluetooth, headset-tracking or an additional cadence sensor. Plug and play and it’s ready for a workout. The team has been backed by Techstars Accelerator and is now on a path of scaling their VR solution internationally.
Daniel Pawson –Venture
Over the past two years, millions of consumers all around the world have learnt how important taking care of your wellness is. Traditionally this meant in terms of nutrition intake to ensure a physically healthy body. However, more recently, other areas of wellness that improve mental health have arguably become just as important.
It can feel these days that there is no way of eating meat guilt free. Whether it’s the associated gas emissions or the slaughtering of innocent animals, the effect from this on mental health can take its toll. But the reliance on it for nutrients and simplicity of cooking can often leave a consumers’ conscious feeling less than well. Turning the meat industry on its head is Ivy Farm. They create real meat that’s been cultivated from meat cells. This is slaughter-free meat allowing the consumer to eat meat, guilt-free.
Aiming to become the first commercial producer of cell cultivated meat in the UK, Ivy Farm is looking to meet the demands of our meat eating habits. For context, there is expected to be an extra 70% demand for meat by 2050. An Oxford University spin out, the company has gone to raise a pre-seed investment of circa £15m from investors, allowing them to develop their technologies and R&D facility. It also looks as though 2022 is going to be a big year with them setting their sights on a £40m raise to launch their first product of cultured meat sausages into supermarkets by 2023 .
The team has also been rapidly growing under co-founders Cathy Ye & Russell Tucker’s guidance. Ivy Farm recently made a number of key hires including ex Barclay’s Investment Banker Azamat Kokov as their new Chief Financial Officer.
I think we will continue to see huge growth in these areas, allowing consumers to eat meat without guilt is a huge opportunity and initial early funding in these types of companies across the world show that there’s a huge appetite for it.
For more insights on the Wellness industry, check out January’s Investing Insights report for an overview of the industry.
View live campaigns on Seedrs here.