Interview with Junaid Mian & Franz Almeida, Co-founders of SP8CEVC – A NYC-based VC firm investing in founders building our tomorrow in the verticals of Space Technology and Human Longevity.
Over the next 20 years, the synergy of space technology and an
increasing human lifespan will enable humanity to create value
in the trillions of dollars. The connection between Space and
Longevity is about backing founders creating cutting edge tech in space and who are working to increase the human lifespan by battling the mechanism that helps underyling diseases, “aging”.
For educational purposes, please tell us more about Space and Longevity economies?
Life expectancy is much longer than we assume. On average, middle-aged people today can expect to live to 120 years, the elderly to a 100; and younger people can expect to live beyond 120 years. The implications of this for investors and society is profound. New forms of living, working, governance, finance, and products will need to be designed to deal with people living longer, healthier lives. The restructuring of life as we know it will create business opportunities and returns for investors unlike anything we’ve ever known. The Industry will be more than just the core anti aging therapies one usually thinks of, but will also include the emerging Longevity Financial Industry that will consist of: AgeTech, WealthTech, FinTech, and new financial instruments and derivatives.
Franz: Space has come a long way!. It’s not a coincidence that we are shooting this podcast a few days after the historic space flight that put two former US military test pilots into space from U.S. soil. We are just getting warmed up! To answer your question the space economy is currently a $385B market close to $400B and is poised to be $2T+ by 2045. 8.4B invested in Space since 2000 and 85% of that has been in the last 4 years. Space will be a common market place in every aspect opening out a brand new economy and ushering in a new era. You just need to have the vision to see it. We at SP8CEVC do is why we are building our fund to support this endeavor.
According to Space Angels VC, about $5.8 billion of VC money was invested in 178 commercial space startups and is up 38% from 2018 to 2019. What drives investors to make investments in this space? And what do you believe is causing this economic boost?
Franz: Two reasons 1) ReUsable rocket technology and 2) Launch cost to LEO; $85,216/ kg or /2.2ibs in 1981 and this price has dropped drastically to approximately $1000 today and is continuing to drop. Investors are numbers driven beasts and we like those numbers.
In the Longevity economy, how is this capital being deployed/distributed in terms of industry sectors?
The Longevity Economy is multifaceted, so to keep it simple, you can look at it as two sectors: therapies and financial services/instruments. Currently, most of the capital is being deployed toward therapies, which makes sense because you need those to work before a scalable financial side can exist. However, both sectors are in play. For Fund I, SP8CEVC is focused on the therapy side, which is currently worth about US $110B and is headed to over US $600B by 2025 (give or take a few years).
What is the investment thesis of your new fund, SP8CEVC? How did the connection between space and longevity come about?
Franz & Junaid: We believe the synergy of space technology and human longevity over the next few decades will enable humanity to create value in the trillions of dollars if not more. SP8CEVC believes that by backing the founders building these technologies, this endeavor will lead to new-space technologies and an increasing human lifespan. This will propel them on and off-world economies positively impacting humanity and creating astronomical returns for its investors in the process.
How is SP8CEVC selecting which businesses to invest in? What is their competitive edge?
Franz & Junaid: Our deal flow for both verticals comes through our personal networks, advisors, and direct outreach. Once the proverbial funnel is full, we have a very stringent and methodical process in place to capture the best deals, the ones with the highest odds of success. In other words, we know how to separate the wheat from the chaff and invest in technologies that are pertinent to this time period from an exit standpoint.
What is the long-term vision of your fund and how will you execute on that?
Franz & Junaid: We work on the three principles of Trust Transparency and Speed. Our long term vision is to be the partners of founders who are developing technology to have a positive impact on humanity. Our super long term vision is to be able to back those founders who are going to move our civilization from 0.73 to a Type 1 civilization on the Kardashev Scale. By increasing the human lifespan, we hope to see this shift in our lifetimes.