Rosita Longevity, the Mediterranean mobile health app that aims to optimize healthy longevity in the over-60 community, is launching in the United States after raising $2.8 million in funding rounds.
The current round of the health app is led by Ship2B Ventures (Barcelona impact fund via the BSocial Impact Fund co-invested by the European Investment Fund and Sabadell Bank), with investments from JME Ventures, KFund, Seedcamp, Bankinter (via its venture capital program with the Bankinter Innovation Foundation), Seedlink Ventures, Telefonica Wayra, the University of Chicago and business angels like Cristobal Viedma (founder of Lingokids), Sunny Bates, Sanu Desai and Poonam Sharma (health veteran at Oscar Health).
Longevity.Technology: Rosita had raised a $500,000 pre-seed round in fall 2020 led by JME Ventures, which allowed them to launch their beta product in Spain and demonstrate its success. With the new funds, the company plans to develop longevity biomarkers with biomechanics and machine vision, expand longevity plans to more specific cohorts based on a combination of behavioral patterns and health histories, and then launch in the USA.
Rosita Longevity’s health app is grounded in education, aiming to teach people how to age better, how their bodies change, and what they need to do to slow aging. By helping seniors create new lifestyle habits, Rosita also helps them build their own longevity strategy from the comfort of their own home.
Rosita launched the mobile health coach application in the Spanish market at the end of 2020 with the aim of helping thousands of elderly people to increase their healthy life expectancy by creating a longevity plan. Drawing on methodology developed at the school over 20 years, the platform approaches the aging process as a disease that can be slowed through a combination of lifestyle medicine, supplements and longevity treatments.
Most diseases correlate with degeneration – metabolic syndrome with diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, musculoskeletal problems, chronoperturbation (the chronic disruption of circadian rhythms leading to disease), etc. – are traditional age comorbidities and can be treated in tandem, the company says. Rosita claims to be the first longevity coach who plans a health strategy to reduce the risk of all these diseases while empowering seniors with technologies designed for them and education to take control of their next 20 years.
The company considers that society needs tools that can prove their worth today, recalling that gerontologists and physiologists agree that the essential source of any prevention strategy is the consistency of treatment. Today, subscribers to Rosita’s health app log more than 280 minutes of exercise per week, which is highly unusual in senior communities. indeed, the World Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes a week to excel in healthy living and most older people are barely reaching 50. Rosita attributes her approach to an adaptive, fun, virtual coaching platform specifically designed for seniors.
“People know that life expectancy is around 85, but what most people don’t know is that healthy life expectancy is only 65, and in many cases it’s because of chronic conditions that could be prevented or reversed,” Clara Fernández, co-founder of Rosita Longevity told us. “Health systems are saturated and their response to chronic patients is mainly pharmacological. Doctors will often prescribe exercise, weight loss, or better sleep as a general recommendation, but they have no system, no methodology, and probably more importantly, no motivation.
Fernández cites the reason for Rosita’s initial success as the health app’s fun approach, rather than handing out condescending homework or encouragement.
“We give them fun, coaching-backed lifestyle habits to adapt and motivate them,” she says. “With the new funds, we will continue to develop our proposal for a longevity plan to optimize life for the next 10 years, adding new layers of science in terms of parameterization and processing, all with a focus on United States, the largest market that also has the lowest shelf life, so we can have more impact faster.
Fernández says the opioid crisis means society is demanding new, sustainable tools to deal with pain, and a holistic approach to pain management has traditionally not been encouraged by physicians due to lack of services. affordable in the long term for the 70% of seniors with chronic conditions. pain, such as osteoarthritis.
“Rosita offers a solution that starts with reducing pain but goes on to improve all of your other longevity biomarkers,” she says. “Users come because they feel pain, stay because they feel better, and become fans because we’ve proven to be their trusted longevity partner along with our other programs like senior sexuality and nutrition.”
“Going to the United States this early can be considered a risky bet”, Longevity of Rosita co-founder Juan Cartagena told us. “Consolidating in Spain or launching in Portugal, Germany, France or the UK seemed like a more ‘traditional’ approach for European startups. Even Latin America might feel more accessible. Except when looking at the data.
“Healthcare systems in the United States are designed to keep people ‘alive’, but they live most of those years with illnesses, which could often be prevented, like metabolic syndrome. It’s a huge burden for the health systems of these countries, and more importantly for the elderly and their families.
An example given by Cartagena is that the cost of a frail person is about 10 times higher than the cost of a non-frail person of the same age (“we are talking about tens of thousands of dollars per person per year”), and that frailty is strongly linked to lifestyle choices and preventive medicine.
The United States is a place where the health app believes it can have a lot of impact quickly. “A lot of longevity biotech companies will bring extra life expectancy to young people with incredible technology, but few older people will benefit,” he explains. “We believe we can have a direct impact on people’s health very quickly and specifically for the population group that needs it most.”
Image credit: Rosita Longevity