Saks Snacks #16 - Finale & Emerging Startups in '22
Emerging Startups in '22 - Bioloop, Ness, Cadoo | Reputation Systems | Looking forward to a New Year
Hi friends from Delray Beach, FL👋
Welcome to our final Saks Snacks of 2021. If you have any feedback, please fill out the endnote link or reply to this email. Let’s dive in!
Today’s Topics 👉 #1🥑 Snacks of the week | #2🌱Emerging Startups to keep 👀 on | #3💰 Capital Raise Radar | #4💡Big Ideas: Reputation Systems | #5🎙️ Pod of the Week | #6💥 Spark Moment of the Week
#1 🥑 Snacks of the week (x4)
FittInsider Article on WHOOP: a great breakdown on WHOOP’s business model, strategic bets, unit economics, and the foundation for the intense wearable competition we’ll see in 2022.
A breakdown of 2021’s state of wearable tech in healthcare, and a look forward once providers get more comfortable using them and medical-grade wearables increase. (Deloitte article)
Fitness / Health / Web3: An excellent exploration of the evolution of fitness & wellness, analyzing fitness / health / web 3 trends. This adds depth to edition 15’s exploration of move-to-earn games.
Web3 / Move-to-earn Partnerships🤝: Genopets partners with Merit Circle to make it easy to reward active lifestyles around the world. Merit Circle, a decentralized autonomous organization, purchased $200k in co-branded Habitats in the Genoverse to expand the play-to-earn scholarship model.
#2 🌱 Emerging Startups to keep 👀 on
Here are 3 “earlier” start-ups that should be interesting to watch in 2022.
Bioloop Sleep - Bioloop offers a personalized 1-on-1 sleep coaching app, leveraging wearables to provide a data-driven, personalized plan to improve sleep. If you want to learn more, check out their IRB-approved study with researchers at Swarthmore College.
The sleep fitness movement lags behind full-throttle movements we’ve observed across fitness/nutrition/mediation, etc. and we’ll cover more in ‘22.
Another wellness credit card to keep an eye out for that’s “launching in 2022” is Ness. They’re building “AmEx-like credit card”, and have an experienced team seeking to build intuitive solutions for customers wanting to get and stay healthy.
In edition 10, we discussed Paceline’s Series A, and what health & wellness credit cards are all about.
Our focus is on building a rewards program that is driven by physical activity and prioritizes the physical and financial health of the cardholder. The Paceline Card is the next major step in realizing our vision of a unified wellness platform, and we chose to pair our card with the Apple Watch—and closing your activity rings—because it aligns with that core vision. By tying financial incentive to achievable physical activity goals, we have the opportunity to not only dramatically improve the health of individuals, but also the nature of preventive health in our society.”
Ness’s business model is intriguing but the product itself is speculative. I look forward to sharing their progress in the new year.
Cadoo (covered in edition 9) is an interesting “pay-for-fitness” option that uses financial incentives to motivate its runners. I expect Cadoo to quickly grow, leveraging “new-year, new me” headwinds in the next 2-3 months.
We’d previously discussed Cadoo’s TikTok strategy (an underutilized channel within health-tech) as a means to drive organic app growth. At the time of writing this, they have 1.4k TikTok followers and believe this can 10x in ‘22 as they double down on content creation.
#3 💰 Capital Raise Radar
In 2022, capital raises will continue to change. Through a 13-page memo & 39-minute Loom, Rippling raised $250 million. Probably nothing.
It’s worth noting Rippling was at the Series B phase, and CEO Parker Conrad has successfully formed billion $ companies, but I still expect capital raises to drastically change, and I’ll highlight “how” in nature in 2022. Talking about Series B’s, here’s our health tech raise of the week 👇
At-Home Diagnostic Services: Tasso secured a $100M Series B Led by RA Capital. Tasso is transforming the traditional blood collection process and quickly modernizing the standard of care for at-home diagnostic services. The new funds will help Tasso scale-up manufacturing.
#4:💡 Big Ideas: Reputation Systems
Last week, we looked at how Web3 lets creators own the upside from their work.
This week’s big idea is around creating a reputation system that’s responsive to the evolution of the contributor community, and how it’s connected to Web3.
First off, what are reputation systems?
Reputation systems present an opportunity for platforms to recognize—and thus incentivize—participants’ high-quality contributions, including content creation, moderation, community building, and gameplay. This is crucial to the growth and sustainability of any web3 project. Designing reputation systems requires complex considerations around reputation supply, distribution, credibility, and more. So while many are exploring this space—from DAOs like FWB to play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity and new social platforms like BitClout—builders have yet to agree on the best way to design these reputation systems.
How can we make reputation building accessible for all types of contributors? This, among many other questions, is outlined here.
This sets us up well for our first long-form article of 2022, where we’ll explore how reputation systems can be incorporated into fitness and the broader creator economy. We’ll review which platforms currently empower fitness creators, which are emerging, and explore what “fitness creator coins” can offer as a monetization and engagement framework for talented fitness coaches in 2022 and beyond.
#5🎙️ Pod of the Week - 1 of 2021’s listens
I was first intro’d to Jesse Itzler when reading “Living with a Seal”, and found myself drawn to Jesse’s charisma, uniqueness, and zest for life. While he’s racked up an impressive track record as a serial, social entrepreneur, he’s also stayed a family man first - a committed and devoted husband (to Sarah Blakely, CEO of Spanx) and father to 4 kids. I recommend queueing this up - I promise you’ll learn something new.
On evening routines: “they’re more important than morning routines and nobody is good enough to ‘wing it’”. When somebody’s output is as prolific as Jesse’s, you should perk up when you hear something like that. It lit a fire under my butt to dial in my PM reflections, which have a 40% success rate.
On living with the monks: this taught Jesse to redefine his relationship with time, to be extremely present, exactly where he currently is. In 2022, can’t we all strive to bring a little more presence and intentionality into our lives?
Misogi: Jesse discussed having 1 life-defining thing each year, an adventure every other month (6x/year), and 3-4 daily winning habits to hone in. The rest is the same. This played into his philosophy of playing life on offense. I’d already started “The Year Ahead” reflective exercise and some 2022 goal planning, but hearing how him and Sarah tactically plan their entire years helped me take my planning to the next level.
#6: 💥 Spark Moment(s) of the Week
I often find my “spark moments” of the day to be 1-liners or phrases that I find profound in the moment. Sometimes I’ll revisit it and it remains powerful. Other times it’s lost its magic. This question came on April Fools’ Day, but it’s no joke.
April 1, 2021: “Everything we are, everything we build, and everything we aspire to become stems from the brain. So why is the brain such a blind spot in our society?” - Bryan Johnson, CEO of Kernel
When Bryan said this… it resonated with me.
What’s more important than our brain health? We’ve explored the measurement of endless inputs the first 16 editions, and I view the measurement of the brain and the mind as an inevitable future that nearly nobody discusses.
In the short term (while we wait for more brain health breakthroughs), I’ll be upgrading my breath work in 2022, committing to 365 days of a practice.
Yoga, distance-running, baseball, and tracking my heart-rate-variability have all taught me the power of using breath as my life force, and I’m 11 days into using The Othership, a paid, guided breath work app that I’d 10/10 recommend.
I’m excited to more accurately activate my sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous systems through breath, but ultimately through breath work, I hope to be even more present in all aspects of life.
This has been a theme of my life, and it was cool to find it in my daily moments spreadsheet from early 2020.
January 24th, 2020: “Wisdom is revealed in the present moment. Our job as humans is to increase the frequency of time spent in the present moment, if we want to experience of the human condition. It comes down to now.” - Michael Gervais
This is the last Saks Snacks of the year. if you’re still reading… Thank you.
📚 Thank you for reading and contributing.
💡 Thank you for joining the journey exploring intersections of health and tech.
🤝 Thank you for offering constructive feedback along the way.
Looking forward, digital health innovation will continue at blistering paces.
While the pandemic compressed decades of adoption of things like telemedicine and virtual care into 6-12 months, we’re still yet to see how health tech consumer behavior normalizes and what new business models and markets emerge.
You’ll continue to get a front row seat, and after reflecting the last few weeks, there’ll be slight changes to 2022’s writings.
Writings will focus on broader topics that interest me across digital health, fitness, and wellness. We’ll dive deep into the creator economy’s impact on health x fitness, crypto/Web3, VR’s place in fitness and health, how community will impact all of these business models above, and more.
You’ll still receive synthesized updates and coverage on emerging trends, but it will be on a looser 2-4 week cadence. Whenever there’s value, I’ll share with you.
I appreciate your support, and wish you and yours a wonderful 2022.
Calls to action
Forward Saks Snacks to someone who may enjoy it!
Follow along on Twitter where I share quicker updates more frequently
What did you think? Please share feedback - I hope to hear from you!