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Welcome, Tally Health: Our Investment in the Future of Longevity
Only 10% of aging is determined by genetics. The other 90% is for us to control.
The CQ is Forerunner’s weekly newsletter rounding up the most pressing consumer news and analysis, plus some bonus musing from our investment team. Subscribe now to get the latest edition in your inbox every Saturday.
By Kirsten Green, Founding Partner
Relative to the sheer progress we’ve seen in the startup ecosystem across women’s health, metabolic health and prescription care, longevity feels dramatically underserved, particularly in the context of its fundamental, universal importance. Everyone ages — and increasingly health-conscious generations are highly motivated to have more agency over the process and ultimately live a more fulfilled life. Less than 10% of aging is determined by genetics — the other 90% is for us to control. That’s a huge opportunity.
Our thesis is that the next wave of game-changing companies will be life-changing companies, as consumers increasingly crave deeper investments in core life fundamentals, which have become more and more fragile and unreliable in recent years. Personal health, and particularly longevity, fit squarely into this.
This week, we shared that we’re leading the $10M seed funding round for Tally Health, and partnering with the incomparable Dr. David Sinclair, Melanie Goldey and Whitney Casey to bring transformative longevity science to market — to not just help slow aging, but reverse it. Tally’s signature product is a cheek swab test that estimates a consumer’s biological age — the age suggested by one’s physiological health rather than chronological years — which is then supported by personalized recommendations to help lower biological age through lifestyle adjustments and a daily longevity supplement.
What the team is talking about on Slack
Step aside, HENRYs — according to WGSN Insights, there are four consumer profiles that will reign in 2025. New Nihilists will be looking for happiness outside of the mainstream and don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to. Reductionists will value in-person connections and ethical businesses. Time Keepers will invest time in life-enriching things and will appreciate services that free up more of their time. Pioneers thrive on change and will be inspired by ideas that will bridge the physical and virtual.
That style, again? During the pandemic, the pace of trends and product evolution apparently came to a standstill. Not only were people craving the familiar, but supply-chain disruptions, a glut of inventory, and inflation were also causing businesses to play it safe. “With a decline in newness, we are boring consumers to death,” says a market research advisor to The Wall Street Journal.
With a potential TikTok ban hanging in the air (and Instagram’s Creator Marketplace seemingly flopping), thousands of creators are turning to Fanfix to monetize their content. A competitor to Patreon, the subscription content monetization platform targets fans 13 to 24, and claims to have drawn more than 10 million users and paid out 11 million to its 3,000 creators so far.
Influencers are having an “existential crisis,” according to The Atlantic. They have attempted to unionize and strike, but their efforts haven’t amounted to much. “Maybe you’ve fretted over the number of likes you’ve received on an Instagram post; a professional influencer might do the same thing, though their concern comes from a different place. You’re being vain; they’re worrying about their livelihood.”
One Silicon Valley school is embracing AI to tutor students. According to the founder of the school, the positives outweigh the risks and even the kids’ parents are excited about the introduction of the technology.
WWD offers up several interesting surveys about shopping behavior. Despite inflation, 60% of people admit to using retail therapy as a mood booster during stressful times, with 80% of consumers spending under $500 on discretionary items each month. Another study shows over 30% of Gen Z consumers shop online at least once daily, with 43% opening up TikTok to start their product search (which is up 36% from last year). But Millennials are proving to be the real “power shoppers,” taking the lead in global spending.
College seniors will be entering a particularly tough job market as many major companies have put a halt on hiring grads for now. Of 1,000 college seniors surveyed, 97% are considering alternatives from grad school to gig work and jobs outside their major, including students whose goal is a career in tech who must shift gears amid recent layoffs. It’s no surprise that 84% cited job stability as one of the biggest factors to make them want to apply for a position.
Meanwhile “a student loan cliff” is just on the horizon. Federal loan payments have been on hold for three years, but that’s soon coming to end and Gen Z’ers, who have already been struggling to cover the necessities, will be forced to pony up an extra $400 a month on average. Economists are predicting this will “send shockwaves across the American economy.”
Here’s a somewhat surprising stat: A survey of over 2,000 college students and recent grads found that the number-two place that Gen Z would hope to work is the federal government, attracting 6% of both young Republicans and Democrats. Less surprisingly, Google snagged the top spot at 16%. Apple came in third with only 5%.
New York Magazine continues the discussion about teen mental health, proposing four potential reasons, which could be interlinked: social media use, mounting school pressures, distressed parents going through their own mental issues, or that issues are largely due to a cycle vs. a trend.
Work at a Portfolio Company
Corporate Finance Sr. Associate | Faire: Faire is an online wholesale marketplace built on the belief that the future is local — independent retailers around the globe are doing more revenue than Walmart and Amazon combined. This role will support the financial planning, forecasting and analysis to guide strategic decisions and make critical capital allocation decisions.
Accounting Manager | Oura: Oura helps people track all stages of sleep and activity using the Ōura Ring and connected app to help people improve their sleep, understand their bodies, and transform their health. This role will work on all aspects of the purchase process from generation of purchase orders in collaboration with sourcing and other teams to vendor services, accounts payable process development, accruals and booking cost.
Senior Associate, FP&A (Data & Operations) | Chime: Chime is the largest and fastest-growing U.S. player in the challenger-banking space, empowering millions of Americans to take control of their finances. This role will help develop and shape Chime’s business and financial strategy, driving several high-impact cross-functional initiatives at the company.
There are ~571 other openings on our jobs site. Check ‘em out.