Three Wellness Categories You Need To Keep Your Eye On

When we make it out the other side of this national health crisis, I anticipate that consumer focus on health and wellness will be more amplified than ever before.

The long-known importance of good nutrition and regular physical fitness is now paired with constant reminders about the importance of health screenings/testing and good hygiene.

As more innovative products reach the market and expand how people measure and manage their health, consumers will be empowered to do more and know more about what wellness looks like for them.

To better understand where people will be turning to for this level of knowledge in the future, follow the money - the money flowing into the health and wellness space by venture capitalists.

The first wave of this was visible when massive funding and merger/acquisition activity occurred in the in-home fitness category. What’s next is a large pouring of capital into other areas, some of which I’ve discussed before and others I haven’t.

There are three categories in particular that I think will over-index in VC funding that will spawn the next generation of big-name wellness companies. I covered them in-depth in a recent Forbes article. Below is a snippet of the core themes of themes discussed in the piece. 

Click here to read my entire Forbes about this


Personalized Nutrition & Medicine

The idea of personalized nutrition isn’t new, it just hasn’t reached the scale and widespread adoption yet that many have predicted. It’s been clear for a long time that every human being digests macronutrients and micronutrients differently.

Companies like Persona and Viome use online assessments or samples to provide a comprehensive overview of your body’s nutritional or gut health. Then, you are given the option of ordering personalized vitamins, supplements, and probiotics that are tailored to your goals or deficiencies and delivered to your doorstep. Everlywell, another company in this space, just raised $175 million in venture funding to offer in-home testing for things like food sensitivity, allergies, and more recently, COVID-19.

The holy grail of this personalized medicine market opportunity exists not just in how customized nutrition can drive better dietary outcomes, but also with how the foods we consume can promote more optimal physical activity or rest and recovery. Ultimately, creating a closed-loop of data can empower consumers to make smarter choices, faster.

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Metabolic Health Trackers & Diagnostic Wearables

Along the same lines of understanding how inputs like food impact each of us differently, investors have zoomed in on the area of metabolic health as a key area of growth in the wellness market. Whoop, Levels, and others are seeing strong investor interest.

Unsurprisingly, larger technology companies have also demonstrated an interest in this space. The continued development of the Apple Watch and recent announcements by Amazon represent just a portion of what we should expect from bigger names in the space.  

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Sleep Management & Optimization

Even with the innovations in wearable tech and the growth of personalized medicine, venture capitalists aren’t sleeping on the market opportunity in the recovery space, pun intended.

The last couple of years have brought with it massive amounts of capital into the sleep and recovery space. Companies like Eight Sleep, Purple, Leesa, Casper, and others are seeing big capital infusions to help people solve many of the common sleep problems, resulting in billion-dollar valuations.

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What’s On The Horizon: Psychedelics, Massage Devices, and More

Beyond the traditional health and wellness categories mentioned above, it also looks like a few more segments are bubbling with investor interest. 

Psychedelics, for example, is one uncommon market related to mental health that is gaining appeal among mainstream firms. The famed Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary is one of the more vocal people who is betting on this space. This comes as Peter Thiel reportedly invested in a company’s $125 million funding round. As big names like these jump in, many of their colleagues will undoubtedly follow.

Physical recovery hardware is also seeing more notoriety. Products like Hyperice or Theragun, described as deep muscle massage treatments, are growing in popularity among athletes and active people who are trying to recover more quickly from soreness. 

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