In this conversation, Joe Vennare spoke with Able Partners Co-founder, Amanda Eilian about investing in the positive living space, her take on the future of the wellness industry, including mental health and psychedelics, and her advice for founders looking to break into the wellness space.
Check out an overview of the conversation below or listen to the entire episode for more.
What do you look for in founders and early-stage opportunities?
AE: We have a bias toward founders who are coming at a problem from a place of personal passion or personal experience, not just people who have graduated from business school… The founder’s journey is full of ups and downs, and if you’re only looking at the exit when you start, you might not have the wherewithal to [see it through].
At the early stage, we invest in companies that are revolutionary, not evolutionary… often creating a new category.
What sectors are you currently pursuing within the broader wellness space?
AE: Able is funded by internal capital… so we have more flexibility than institutional investors and like to take advantage of that. A few of those sectors include sexual wellness, mental health, slow tech, meditation, and psychedelics for therapeutic use. For example, we invested in the first legal psilocybin retreat called Synsethis.
What shifts do you see happening in the industry?
AE: Personalization: There’s no one diet or fitness plan that will work or be optimized for everyone, so that lends itself to hardware devices like the Oura Ring. The more you can measure the more you can optimize and it helps people realize there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Fragmentation: In the types of companies that succeed in food, fitness, and wellness. The rise of technology, e-commerce, and social media will allow more companies to serve smaller interest groups who optimize for different lifestyles.
What companies and investment opportunities do you expect to see more of?
- Women’s health, the movement toward functional medicine, and menopause.
- The decline of organized religion, and alternative paths to finding meaning in life, like astrology.
- Gut health and microbiome.
- Plant-based everything.
- The move from boutique fitness to boutique recovery.
**Note: Amanda’s answers have been edited for brevity and cohesion.
About Amanda Eilian & Able Partners:
Amanda Eilian is the co-founder of Able Partners, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage companies in the positive living space. With over 40 companies in the portfolio, investments include Goop, The Wing, Daily Harvest, and Bulletproof.
Amanda was also the Co-Founder and President of Videolicious, an enterprise video creation platform backed by Amazon and acquired by a strategic buyer in 2019. Amanda was instrumental in the launch and growth of Videolicious to over 5,000,000 users in 103 countries, including Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Walmart, SAP, Verizon and GE. Prior to forming Videolicious, Amanda was a founding partner of Capitol Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) that completed a $265 million initial public offering and closed a merger that led to the formation of Two Harbors Investment Corp., a $3 billion NYSE listed REIT (TWO) and Silver Bay Realty Trust (SBY). Amanda previously worked in private equity and mergers and acquisitions.