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Investors Bullish on Consumer Health, Preventive Care 
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Investors Bullish on Consumer Health, Preventive Care 

Lance Armstrong’s Next Ventures is looking to invest $100 million into the “consumerization of health.” Other firms have similar plans

The $1.8 trillion global wellness market, coupled with advancements in biometric tracking and health technology, has investors banking on the future of wellness.

Renowned cyclist and endurance athlete Lance Armstrong’s Next Ventures is the latest VC fund to get in on the wellness craze, targeting $100 million — its first fund in almost five years — to invest in whole-person health, preventive care and diagnostics.

Next Ventures managing partner Julian Eison, was forthright:

“We said, hey, this whole consumerization of health is omnipresent,” Eison told PitchBook, which reported on Next Ventures’ plans to write pre-seed, seed and Series A checks with an average check size of $2 million. 

It’s a viewpoint shared by other leading investors and experts.

As Jon Canarick of North Castle Partners, Mark Grabowski of Snapdragon Capital Partners and Lance Dietz of KB Partners shared during Athletech News’ DISRUPT 2023 video series, there is an overall sense of optimism surrounding the health, fitness and wellness markets. 

“I think almost universally there’s growth in consumer expenditure in health and wellness across multiple categories,” Grabowski said, noting that the industry as a whole is on an “upward trajectory.” 

Wearables Track More Than Just Fitness

He also indicated that health and fitness trackers have even more runway, especially with consumers embracing preventive wellness practices. Advancing technology also means that wearables no longer cater to elite athletes or weekend warriors. Instead, consumers of all ages and in any health condition can track their health metrics, widening the available consumer market.

“When you think of everything from blood testing to stool samples, there you’re actually addressing some different issues,” Grabowski pointed out. “It’s not about, ‘Am I optimizing my workout performance?’ It’s about allergies, chronic issues, immune responses and other things that people are dealing with.” 

Investors are taking note, with Ultrahuman’s multi-device ecosystem the latest funding recipient. The company just secured $35 million in a Series B to advance its health monitoring endeavors, which include a smart ring, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), a ‘Blood Vision’ system and an upcoming home health device that assesses environmental impacts on well-being. 

credit: Ultrahuman

Next Ventures’ portfolio touts some notable health and wellness names, including smart ring brand Oura, AI wearable company Humane and Genopets, a move-to-earn game. The VC fund also invested in Utah-based Amp Human in 2019, maker of PR Lotion, which merged with Momentous, a ‘human performance” supplement brand.

As for Oura, the smart ring maker is expected to enter a “health-focused” chapter, having recently welcomed an executive from the Apple Health team and signing a deal to make its wearable device FSA/HSA eligible. 

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Wellness CPGs Gain Steam, Too

Tech may always be a hot area for its jaw-dropping capabilities that seem to advance each week, but good old consumer packaged goods have been receiving the attention of investors, too — especially those in the wellness categories. 

Even major retailers like Target are banking on the wellness wave, introducing over 1,000 health-supporting products across all verticals. For good reason, too: consumers have not only become more health-conscious, but GLP-1 users have redirected their spending away from unhealthy items and toward wellness purchases.

Bloom Nutrition, a supplement brand in the greens and superfoods category recently scored a major investment from C4 maker Nutrabolt. 

Health and wellness guru/A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow, no stranger to all things green juice and longevity-supporting, is also eyeing the power of products with wide appeal. The goop founder has turned feeling good into a profitable brand, catering to the masses with a new line of budget-friendly wellness and beauty products, a departure from goop’s higher-priced items. 

Paltrow’s Los Angeles-based VC firm, Kinship Ventures, has reportedly sought to raise $75 million for its debut fund, eyeing early-stage consumer goods and tech companies.

Over on the East Coast, Humble Growth, a N.Y.-based growth equity firm launched by an all-star team that includes RxBar founder Peter Rahal, secured over $312 million for its debut. Earlier this year, Humble Growth acquired a significant minority stake in Momentous in a deal worth $32 million.

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