Welcome, Tally Health: Our Investment in the Future of Longevity

Kirsten Green, Founder, Partner

Spring, 2023

One critical shift we’re tracking at Forerunner, which has gained sharp momentum in recent years, is how seemingly basic, core life fundamentals are becoming luxuries — and thus being reborn as aspirational consumer experiences. Life fundamentals, like our health, community, security and wellbeing, have historically been seen as foundational and easily overlooked (especially when needs are met). But between recent societal upheavals like the pandemic, a looming recession, accelerated climate change, an overburdened healthcare system and a ballooning loneliness epidemic, core life fundamentals have become a lot more complicated and fragile — especially for an evermore diverse, individualist set of consumers where life paths are increasingly non-linear. This mounting instability has consumers looking to harken back to a more pure and even simple way of living that’s grounded in pragmatism. When you look for it, this is happening all around us: a night of deep sleep is now considered a badge of personal peak performance, a strong fitness routine is akin to status symbol, more traditional hobbies like gardening, cooking and thrifting are on the rise, and a rich, supportive community is a covetable asset. 

Perhaps no category is as emblematic of these shifts as personal health. It is a massive foundational category (nearly 20% of the US’s GDP) with skyrocketing consumer interest and a rapidly expanding scope of issues and priorities. But, it’s plagued by a reactive legacy system that’s ill-equipped to serve these growing demands. Recent Forerunner research found that 54% of people say personal health is a main focus area in their lives — but many are grasping for how to make progress, with 41% saying they wish it was easier to achieve their health goals (more challenging than finances, work, school, and family & relationships). Between an acute provider shortage and dearth of proactive resources within the existing healthcare system, consumers are increasingly turning to new avenues for taking their personal health into their new hands. We’ve seen this trend brewing for years through our investments in OURA, which has redefined sleep as a key tenet of personal health and even a desirable fashion accessory, and Real, which is modernizing group therapy through self-education, community and positivity, and Hims&Hers, which rebranded historically stigmatized health products as essential parts of wellness. 

When the Forerunner team first learned of Tally Health, we were immediately struck by the opportunity and how squarely it fits within tailwinds we’re seeing in consumer health and evolved consumer aspirations. Tally Health is charting a new frontier in longevity, spearheaded by a truly exceptional team: Dr. David Sinclair, a world-renowned researcher who has been studying longevity for over thirty years, Melanie Goldey, a proven consumer and healthtech leader who was formerly COO of TMRW Life Sciences, and prior, the CFO of Refinery29, and Whitney Casey, an accomplished venture partner at L Catterton and former Founder/CEO of Finery (acquired by StitchFix). Together, they are bringing transformative science to market in a broadly accessible, consumer-first format, starting with a membership-based model for understanding (and improving) your biological age. The opportunity for impact is incredibly profound: aging is the primary risk factor for many of the common diseases and conditions that cause ~90% of deaths, including cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease, and meanwhile, today’s healthcare system typically treats these manifestations of aging one by one, ‘whack-a-mole’ style instead of addressing the root cause first and foremost. This is a fundamental missed opportunity when you consider that less than 10% of aging is determined by genetics, providing the opportunity to control the other 90% of how we age

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. This test was trained on an in-house dataset that includes over 8,000 people, spanning a chronological age range of 18-100 years, and representing the largest DNA methylation, adult cheek swab dataset ever generated. Using this data, Tally Health is building a holistic platform related to biological age, including a test delivered every 3 months to measure one’s health through a metric more indicative than years lived, personalized recommendations to help lower biological age through lifestyle adjustments, and a daily longevity supplement. 

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 savvy, health-conscious generations are highly motivated to have more agency over the process — and ultimately live a more fulfilled life. 

At Forerunner, we think a lot about how the next wave of game-changing companies will be life-changing companies, as consumers navigate growing complexity within their core life foundations. We call this opportunity the traditional needs of an increasingly non-traditional society. Tally Health is uniquely positioned to meet this new frontier for today’s — and tomorrow’s — generations. 

With Tally Health, we see a category-defining opportunity to partner with this team and open up access to these scientific breakthroughs that not just slow aging, but help reverse it.

  • DATE

    Spring, 2023

  • Perspective Type