The role of Capital Markets in our quest for Longevity
This article was written by Remus Stanescu from Longevity Financial Advisors (www.longevity.finance).
Longevity Financial Advisors is a trading name of Privium Fund Management (UK) Limited (“Privium”). Privium is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) in the United Kingdom.
This information is for professional or institutional investors only. Capital is at risk.
In 1997 Jeanne Calment, the oldest person on record to have ever lived, died at the age of 122. Whilst centenarians currently make up about 0.07% of the world’s population, life expectancy is increasing globally. This means we could all soon be looking at an average life expectancy beyond the age of 100, which in turn leads to wider implications for society, business and the environment.
To tip the scales even further, radical life extension has now come into the realms of possibility, thanks to significant progress made in anti-aging research in recent years. Billions of dollars have also been invested in the quest for immortality, capturing headlines and public imagination on what it could mean to live forever.
The Longevity Industry
Longevity typically focuses on anti-aging and the extension of the average healthy lifespan, or healthspan. As a result, Longevity has become a complex and multidimensional science, with diverse technological offshoots such as geroscience, geriatrics, regenerative medicine and preventive precision medicine.
The Longevity Industry, as defined by Deep Knowledge Group, is a broad field as it is more than just the science of anti-aging and rejuvenation. Our definition of the Longevity industry encompasses all the implications of entire populations living longer, and thereby includes all the participants involved in managing this shift. We estimate that the overall capitalization of the global Longevity industry exceeds $25 trillion.
Source: Longevity Investment Digest Q4 2021* for illustration purposes only
Our starting point, back in 2014, was to structure the industry’s breadth and complexity by identifying, classifying and profiling all participants in the ecosystem; and making this information and knowledge available through open access reports and analytics. As a result of this work, Deep Knowledge Group now owns the world’s largest knowledge platform for longevity and deep tech. We have a global database of 50,000+ companies, 12,000+ investors, 1,200+ R&D hubs, mapped into 20 sectors, 160 sub sectors, containing over 9.5 million data points. This database is updated in real-time and is at the core of our AI-powered analytical system.
Global Longevity Ecosystem — 50,000+ Companies by 20 sectors
Source: Longevity Investment Digest Q4 2021
Apart from knowledge, another key challenge we see facing the Longevity industry is liquidity. Which is why we created Longevity Financial Advisors, the world’s first capital advisory firm focused on facilitating investments into longevity, and we have plans to grow its scope to become a full-service investment bank. We also plan to continue to build on our expertise and network to develop a comprehensive financial infrastructure to help support the industry, including setting up a Longevity Stock Exchange (this ambition was first unveiled last year by Dmitry Kaminskiy, general partner at Deep Knowledge Group, and highlighted in an article by fDi Intelligence, a Financial Times subsidiary).
Longevity and Capital Markets
Of the 50,000+ Longevity companies profiled in our database, only 400 of them are publicly traded. On the other hand, there is significant investor demand for the public longevity companies: 53 longevity companies successfully closed their IPOs in 2021 and raised more than $10 billion. There is also a strong pipeline of Longevity IPO candidates: over 400 Longevity companies have reached late-stage financing, and are expected to tap IPO markets as the next steps in the foreseeable future.
Source: Longevity Investment Digest Q4 2021
Longevity companies in earlier stages of financing would also benefit from listing on a stock exchange. The benefits of listing include a higher degree of diversification of investors, easier access to additional equity capital and debt financing, and increased visibility. A stock exchange is also more than simply a platform to invest or to raise capital; it plays a central role in the development of a country’s economy (e.g. national stock exchanges) or more broadly an industry (e.g. Nasdaq for global technology companies).
There are a number of specialized stock exchanges:
- London Metal Exchange, a specialized exchange, was established in London in 1877, when ‘metal’ indeed could be considered as one of the most important stand alone commodity;
- Nasdaq, was established in in New York in 1971, and became world leading exchange for tech companies;
- Long Term Stock Exchange, established in 2019 in San Francisco, specifically designed for modern tech companies (Silicon Valley focused);
Longitude Exchange, established in 2022 at Bermuda, specialized marketplace for trading ‘longevity risk’, designed for pension funds, insurance and reinsurance companies.
Taking in account these examples and given the scope and complexity of the Longevity industry, a specialized stock exchange could be the very catalyst required to accelerate progress, simply by bringing together companies, investors and advisers to facilitate the industry’s funding and liquidity needs on a global scale, and to encourage further innovation and investments.
At the same time, first country to launch the Longevity stock exchange will also have the potential to quickly secure its position as a leading Longevity Financial Hub, thanks to its first-mover’s advantage in building a world-class Longevity ecosystem.
Facilitating investments into Longevity
The Longevity industry is characterised by unprecedented levels of complexity, multidimensionality and technological intersectionality compared to BioTech industry, presenting identifiable but extremely challenging roadblocks to the kinds of strategic decision making, forecasting and investment strategy formulation. Situated at the intersection of entirely distinct sectors (biomedicine, finance, and technology), each striving synergy and unity towards a common end-goal and each representing the very forefront of advancement in their own respective domains, it is an industry that is uniquely difficult to comprehensively understand, let alone analyze, benchmark and forecast within.
Deep Knowledge Group began its activities in this space nearly a decade ago, long before the industry rose to the mainstream prominence and normality that it has today, and made its first investment in the sector in 2014 (providing initial financing for a company (Insilico Medicine) that has gone on to raise more than $300 million in follow-on financing.
Active across many fronts of the industry (VC, entrepreneurship, charity, philanthropy, governmental policy, etc.) the Deep Knowledge Group has spent nearly a decade developing quantitative frameworks, platforms and systems capable of enabling reliable, tangible and realistic industry and technology benchmarking and forecasting in the face of the Longevity industry’s unprecedented complexity.
Source: Longevity Investment BigData Analytical System
While the primary purpose of these analytics has been to reliably form, structure and execute our own strategic agenda, many of these analytics have been released in an open-access manner to enable other industry professionals and decision-makers to reap their benefits and structure their own strategies and activities in a realistic manner, for the greater benefit of the industry as a whole.
At Deep Knowledge Group, we are very well aware of the challenges faced by investors seeking to invest in Longevity. We provide both private and public investment opportunities in Longevity, and continue to work on solutions to broaden investor access to growth opportunities in this space. Longevity Financial Advisors’ investment products and opportunities are currently available on our longevity-focused private market platform.