Longevity funding booming, but startups worldwide still underserved


David Peran

8/3/20234 min read

The emerging field of longevity and life extension has attracted growing interest and investment, with 2022 setting new records for venture capital funding according to the inaugural Spannr Longevity Funding Report. However, a deeper analysis of the report's findings reveals key strengths as well as concerning weaknesses and blind spots that could hamper the industry's development.

This article provides a structured SWOT analysis of the current longevity funding landscape, assessing the major opportunities while highlighting geographic, organizational, and macroeconomic threats that may restrict the field's potential if unaddressed. Optimizing the industry's global impact will require leveraging its momentum while proactively improving diversity, inclusion, and access.


  • Historic capital influx: the longevity sector experienced a remarkable influx of capital in 2022, with an historic $6.96 billion raised across 96 funding rounds. This demonstrates the burgeoning interest and growth within this emerging field.

  • Active early-stage pipeline: a significant 55% of funding rounds took place at the Seed or Series A stages, signaling an active, evolving pipeline of early-stage startups. This underscores the potential for a wave of innovative ideas and products.


  • Geographical imbalance: the investment landscape presents a geographical imbalance: a disproportionate 75% of funding rounds were directed to U.S. startups. Europe and Asia remained on the sidelines, raising concerns about the lack of diversity in the longevity field.

  • Risk of overconcentration: this risk was observed with Altos Labs' $3 billion Series A funding round, which accounted for 43% of the total capital raised in 2022. This skew may stifle competition and discourage a broader spread of innovative ideas.

  • Underutilized potential in Europe: European countries like Switzerland (3) and the UK (7) hosted a mere 10 rounds collectively, suggesting an untapped potential in these regions.


  • Global aging demographic: a significant demographic shift is underway: the global population aged 60 and over is projected to reach 2.1 billion by 2050 according to WHO. This aging demographic, particularly in Asia, provides a vast, untapped market for longevity solutions.

  • Ripe for growth: despite only hosting 17.7% of funding rounds in 2022, Europe's thriving tech and healthcare ecosystem could serve as fertile ground for longevity startups with the right support structures (incubators, accelerators, VCs).


  • Lack of diversity and inclusivity: geographic funding disparities may inhibit diversity and accessibility across the longevity industry. A more inclusive funding approach would broaden participation and perspectives.

  • Macroeconomic vulnerability: macroeconomic downturns can affect investment into high-risk fields like biotech. Longevity startups, particularly smaller ones, may be susceptible to these investment ebbs and flows.

Potential action plans

As the longevity sector burgeons, it offers numerous opportunities for growth and innovation. However, it is vital to navigate the landscape tactfully, addressing inherent weaknesses and potential threats to harness the sector's full potential. By formulating strategic initiatives, we can effectively promote a more diverse, balanced, and robust global longevity ecosystem. The following action plans illustrate ways to leverage opportunities and counter the identified challenges:

  • Tapping into the global aging demographic: the burgeoning global 60+ population, particularly in Asia, represents a largely untapped market. Efforts should be directed towards developing longevity-focused solutions that cater to this demographic's needs. This includes, but is not limited to, creating products or services that improve the quality of life, foster healthy aging, or even offer revolutionary life-extension possibilities.

  • Strengthening European ecosystem: given Europe's robust tech and healthcare infrastructure, there is considerable potential to bolster its longevity sector. Governments, academic institutions, and private entities can work together to create supportive ecosystems, such as incubators or accelerators specializing in longevity startups. Policy incentives can also be implemented to attract more venture capital to Europe's longevity market.

  • Encouraging geographical diversity: the longevity sector stands to benefit from a more diverse set of perspectives and innovations. One approach is through establishing "Longevity Visa" programs that attract foreign startups to underfunded regions. This would stimulate local longevity ecosystems while promoting international cooperation.

  • Creating new accelerators in Asia: given the substantial aging population in Asia, there is an immediate need and opportunity to establish more longevity-focused accelerators in this region, for example in Singapore. This will promote home-grown innovations and position Asia as a key player in the longevity sector.

  • Launching cross-border venture funds: in order to foster international collaboration and diversify investment, the establishment of cross-border longevity venture funds can be considered. Such initiatives could stimulate the sharing of knowledge, resources, and technology, enabling more robust development in the longevity field.

  • Reevaluating funding policies: the current overconcentration of funding in a handful of startups, while neglecting smaller ones, needs to be revisited. Policymakers and investors can work together to craft policies and strategies that promote a more balanced allocation of funds, thus enabling a broader spectrum of innovations in the longevity sector.

  • Building global consortiums: given the complexity of the longevity field, shared insights and research partnerships across countries and institutions are crucial. Global consortiums can serve as platforms for this exchange, accelerating the pace of development in the longevity sector.

In conclusion, longevity funding is accelerating but remains highly imbalanced, with capital and activity concentrated in American startups and a handful of elite players. Tapping into the full potential of longevity requires international collaboration and participation, together with better support for emerging hubs and small upstarts tackling roadblocks across the lifecycle. While the societal need and investor appetite are strong, hard work remains to develop an equitable, diverse, and accessible ecosystem that spreads the benefits for generations to come.


Spannr (2022). Longevity funding report. Available at:   https://spannr.com/reports/2022-longevity-funding

World Health Organization. Ageing and health. Available at:                                                                                  https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health#:~:text=By%202050%2C%20the%20world's%20population,2050%20to%20reach%20426%20million


Spannr (2022). Longevity funding report. Available at: https://spannr.com/reports/2022-longevity-funding