Good news for all you, uh, “naturalists” out there — psychedelics are here to stay. Obviously, we’ve seen the push forward for some time with now over 33% of the US having state-wide legislation that legalizes cannabis to some degree. And we’ve been seeing more and more companies vouch for the use of psychedelics in medical treatment.
Investors are all over it, with ATAI Life Sciences closing $125 million in their Series C and Compass Pathways closing $80 million in their Series B earlier this year. Previously, Compass was originally the largest ‘shroom in the psychedelics arena until ATAI’s recent close. Both are psychedelics companies who develop treatments for mental health conditions using components of ibogaine, arketamine, and what you’re most familiar with, psilocybin.
It’s not the young VC firms that are investing, either… it’s more traditional investors like Thiel, Falcon Edge Capital, Catalonia Capital Management, and Perceptive Advisors.
ATAI has clinical trials as their top priority and then adding different therapies or companies onboard as a part of what the CEO calls “the ATAI ecosystem”. Basically, we’ll probably see new, innovative therapies tested out and funding come from ATAI into newer startups, or acquisitions. Tech tools to help the therapeutic processes are also high on the list.
What are your predictions with psychedelics on the public health market? Hit reply and tell us!
The Emergency Fund No One Has
You know that whole emergency fund everyone is supposed to have saved, but most don’t? Or maybe they did, until the pandemic this year? Maybe you’re good, but 40% of Americans wouldn’t even have an extra $400 if they needed it unexpectedly (and that stat is pre-pandemic).
Secure is a startup out of Seattle helping people avoid that empty tank (when you need it most) by giving employers an opportunity to offer a “financial wellness benefit” to their employees. This is outside of their paycheck under an emergency savings account.
Secure provides the software to turn this into an automatic, after tax payroll deferral into custom savings accounts. ESA’s started to pop up around 2017, but this year (for obvious reasons) they’re going to start exploding. Or at least Secure’s CEO Devin Miller thinks so.
What about 401Ks and all that jazz? Secure is more for small companies that can’t quite offer that just yet, and larger companies that want to give their employees more savings offerings. The tech allows employees to access their money at anytime, set savings goals, get matches from employers, and more.
Secure’s goal is to become the TurboTax of emergency savings… do you think it’ll take off? Hit reply and tell us your opinion!
Go Big or GTFO of Business
Are you even in business if you don’t want to be the next, big iconic brand? It’s okay if you don’t — no judgement, but for most entrepreneurs hitting that jackpot of success with their brand is the ultimate goal. But how does that actually happen?
Daniel Lubetzky, founder of KIND (which is now valued at $5 billion and an international, well-known brand), sure knows what it takes. For one, he didn’t build this well-loved company by being a copycat. Even if your product already exists, you have to know what makes you different in your category. What’s your competitive advantage and are you communicating it clearly to your customers?
When KIND came around, the only snack and “power” bars were made from a mush of ingredients and had awful texture. KIND was fresh with their small ingredient list of primarily nuts and dried berries.
If you’re pitching to investors, you have to make it clear what their money is going towards and be authentic. Put yourself in their shoes: would you want to hear the same schtick day in and day out, very well knowing everyone’s just trying to take your money and run? Uh, of course no.
Make sure you have a social mission and drive that until the cows go home. You can’t just have a great product these days, you’ve gotta have a mission attached (that your customers already love). How are you proving your product makes a good impact on society? Talk about that more.
What steps are you taking to push your brand to the top? Tell us so we can cheer you on!