In this Q&A, you’ll hear from Simon Belsham, founder & CEO of The Healing Company, an acquirer of and incubator for disruptive integrated health brands. Simon discusses the broken healthcare system and scaling promising alternative wellness companies across women’s health, Ayurveda, supplements, and more.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on at The Healing Company?
Simon Belsham: We founded The Healing Company with a bold aim: bring integrated healing to the world, helping millions of people improve their quality of life.
Compelled by the global healthcare crisis and a deep belief in a different way—one which draws on conventional medicine and ancient wisdom, science, and nature—we’re looking to democratize access to integrated healing.
To do so, we’re building a community of powerful healing brands — identifying, acquiring, and helping scale the reach and impact of leading healing practices and products.
How did you come up with the idea? What key insight led you to pursue this opportunity?
SB: I’ve spent over 20 years building thriving ecommerce and consumer companies, including Walmart.com, Jet.com, Tesco, Ocado, and, most recently, Equinox Media.
Along that journey, like many, I’ve struggled to manage my own mental and physical well-being. As I did so, I was faced with the stark reality of how broken our healthcare system is, with only 5% of spend on prevention despite our knowledge that over 90% of disease is preventable, attributed to lifestyle factors.
I felt a deep pull to tackle our healthcare crisis from a new, consumer-centric perspective I’ve gained through personal experience.
When I met Anabel Oelmann, my co-founder, we instantly connected over our belief in the solution lying in the “and” — modern medicine and ancient wisdom, nature and science. We share a deep drive to bring these solutions in integrated healing to the world.
Anabel started her career as a model, and in facing immense pressure to fit a certain aesthetic, began suffering deeply from stress-induced, chronic migraines. She found relief from Eastern medicine, which ultimately led her to become a certified nutritionist and start a functional mushroom company (NOEO).
Her challenges as a founder in the space—with a powerful product but limited resources to compete in a fragmented, confusing market—shaped our vision for The Healing Company helping millions improve their quality of life by accessing the best products and practices.
How did you turn your idea into a company?
SB: The Healing Company officially launched in February 2022 with a team of less than 10, $10M in seed funding. Supporting us were pioneering entrepreneurs, operators, investors, and healers including entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, and took on integrative healing pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra as chief scientific advisor.
By October, we had announced our first milestone acquisition of Your Super, a leading superfoods brand ranked #1 in the food and beverage category in Inc.’s 2021 fastest-growing company list.
In that time, we also closed a $150M credit facility, funded by i80 Group, to fuel future acquisitions. The short story: We moved quickly, with the right team and a shared vision to make our first year a success.
This March, we announced our second landmark acquisition: Dr. Deepak Chopra’s namesake Ayurveda, meditation, and well-being business Chopra Global. We’ll be working together to create new healing products, practices, and experiences deeply rooted in Deepak’s work, supporting his vision to ultimately reach a billion-plus people with personal transformation to enable social well-being.
How big can this get? What’s the addressable market and how do you go about capturing it?
SB: The global wellness market is expected to top $7T by 2025, with annual growth of 9.9% (per McKinsey). 50% of consumers report wellness as a top priority in their day-to-day lives (per GWI), up from pre-pandemic, and it’s the last area they are likely to cut spending despite financial stress.
Accordingly, over the last five years, we’ve seen an explosion of new offerings, technologies, platforms — you name it. Many of the brands that have been able to break through are those with access to substantial capital, but unfortunately, easy capital is not always correlated to product quality. In a fragmented, regulatory-limited market, this has led to skeptical consumers and a lack of credibility within the industry.
We see an opportunity to change this, acquiring highly credible, science-backed companies within high-growth market segments, like supplements ($165B), integrative healing ($100B), Ayurveda ($23B), and meditation ($2.6B).
When it comes to pitching founders and investors alike, we’ve found that people are drawn to businesses with real purpose and solid business fundamentals supported by market tailwinds. All are excited by the prospect of combining profit and purpose to make a positive difference in the world. It’s a win-win.
Who is the core customer? How are you acquiring customers? And how will you grow the customer base?
SB: Our target brands—whether in women’s health, longevity, or mindfulness—have three key characteristics: credible, science-backed products, resonance with a specific customer, and compelling storytelling and distribution to get that product into the hands of that customer.
While our initial focus is on unlocking individual market impact for each brand in our portfolio, over time, we’ll integrate brands into a closed-loop wellness system, creating scale benefits, learnings, credibility, and reach for all.
Once in our model, we put the customer at the center of what we do and how we build. With our team’s expertise in social commerce, growth, media, storytelling, and distribution, we drive sustainable growth. By listening to the audience, and the world, we will continuously understand their healing needs, and meet them with healing products, practices, and experiences to unlock new pathways to living healthier lives.
Looking at your road map, what are some of the milestones you’re targeting over the next 3-6 months?
SB: In the coming months, we’ll focus on growing both Your Super and Chopra Global, identifying opportunities for partnerships, new products, and showing up for the audiences in new and exciting ways.
Over the next three years, we’ll acquire 15–20 consumer brands that have a high healing impact and high growth potential by tapping into our robust pipeline of opportunities. The current banking environment is making it more challenging for businesses to raise capital, but there are going to be more businesses available to buy as a result. We’ve already seen an uptick in businesses exploring acquisition.
We are empathetic of the situation but also energized by the opportunity to help these brands thrive through partnership with The Healing Company.
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