The global Hi-Tech Health and Wellness sector has seen exponential growth during the last years and, according to market reports, will reach USD 1 trillion in revenues in 2017. The end of the 20th century marked the rapid introduction of new technologies and large investments in the Life Sciences arena. These developments have accelerated the emergence of new, disruptive, business initiatives capable of growing rapidly. Hence the emergence of the 6th Kondratieff Wave: High Technology empowering healthier lifestyles.

The most urgent and basic needs of consumers have migrated to a clear focus on living in social harmony and nurturing a sustainable environment. The 9-to-5 mentality has changed to a 24/7 mind-set which manifests itself in a consistent pace, a constant alertness and an ever-faster way of living. To meet the challenges of a persistent drive to balance a socially acceptable combination of “work and play”, many businesses were created that are accommodating the notion that “a healthier mind and body is a joy forever”.

The global shift towards a healthier lifestyle and consumption of healthier food and beverages is resulting in a range of new products that cater to this expanding market: all natural, non-GMO and without additives or preservatives. The “Snacking Nation” has arrived and is here to stay.

Our conviction is that the future lies in the hands of the many, rather than the few: smaller versatile businesses are better able to actively create new directions, at lower cost and higher speed, than large traditional incumbents.

Our main challenge is to identify new areas of investment that can accelerate the global attention for, and involvement in, health and wellness, while at the same time not neglecting “old-fashioned” business ethics and earning potential. An essential aspect is the assessment of the people driving these businesses as we are convinced that human capital is our most important investment consideration.

In other words, if a company is indeed in the right place and the right space at the right time, then we will look for entrepreneurs that can nurture the proposition and manage new and evolving market strategies. These entrepreneurs need to be flexible and mature enough to implement contingency plans should markets adopt new products or novel enabling technologies.



Into the 6th Kondratieff Wave

The world changed with the disruptive crisis of 2008. This crisis symbolises the ending of the 5th Kondratieff wave. A wave that started around 1970 with the invention and use of silicon computer chips. The subsequent introduction of personal computers has resulted in increased efficiency of operations whereby fewer people could do more work. Ensuing the deployment of PCs, a worldwide connection between these computers created a true information network, simply known today as the internet. Information has become freely available and the emergence of smart phone and tablets has further accelerated the speed of doing business: the world seems literally reachable and active 24/7.

Meanwhile the autumn of the 5th wave also marked the rise of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-in are now embedded in the daily life of millions. The 5th wave created an enormous amount of new wealth.

The spring of the 6th wave has started with many new business opportunities and investment needs.  It is clear that this new wave will be attuned to the needs of health and wellbeing in general. Due to the revolution created by the Internet the world we live in has become fast paced and online: people are reachable anytime, any place. For productivity this seems optimal, however, to uphold this faster paced way of doing business people also need to tend to the needs of their inner selves. Therefore, people need products and services that maintain and monitor their wellbeing and enable healthy and happy lifestyles.

The reality of today is that the present generations will not become much older than their parents. People suffer from metabolic syndromes, are often overweight and suffer from degenerative diseases, ranging from too high cholesterol levels to Alzheimer’s, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other non-curable diseases.

As most consumers are always busy there was a tendency to forget to focus on (personal) health and wellbeing. Relaxing, having fun, and living an enjoyable life in harmony with family and friends was neglected. Fortunately, today this focus has shifted and people’s ambitions have changed. There is an increased awareness of the necessity to keep a healthy and sustainable environment to be able to be active 24/7. The challenge for companies is to create products and enabling technologies that help overcome the pressures created by the demands of the modern world. A significant opportunity lies in making devices and food and beverages easier to access and have them delivered in a timely manner right to the doorstep and ready for consumption.

The largest growth sector at this moment consists of (chilled and/or heated) personal delivery services catering to the changing demands of todays’ consumers. These demands seem to be migrating from large heavier meals to snacking oriented “grab-and-go” solutions. New businesses in this field cater to this need and to the necessity to offer better quality and primarily natural options.

Combining social engagement and tracking physical activity and food intake metrics is a rapidly evolving business segment and welcomed by the modern day consumer that uses these tools to socially interact and keep their friends and social contacts informed.

Unfortunately, for a substantial part of the world all of this is not economically feasible. Therefore, the Western world is also working on food security solutions (allowing for scalable production and distribution of cheaper and safer food). In emerging nations, the introduction of basic health programs is being implemented. Novel technologies are used to advance the speed of growth of food to support the population living in Africa and Asia.

Apart from the poor segments of the population, emerging nations also have a growing and evolving urban middle class that shows an increasing demand for fresh convenience products (including freshly-cut fruits and vegetables, premium juices) that are already available in countries of the Western World.

In other words, we see a global and generic shift towards a healthier lifestyle and the consumption of healthier foods and beverages. Sixth Wave is therefore actively seeking and assessing companies with novel technologies and products enabling this healthier lifestyle in an ever more demanding world.

Investment Strategy

Based on a firm belief in the investment opportunities of the 6th wave, we will focus on investing in innovators in the areas of health, food and beverage as well as in research & development oriented companies creating IP and enabling software and technologies that fit the fund’s charter.

We scout and assess companies that have novel products or technologies in the wider area of health & wellness. Our focus will be on new areas with exponential acceleration potential and with products that may evolve from “niche to mainstream”. The main investment objective is appreciation of capital investments. The Sixth Wave has a global perspective on potential investment opportunities and the holding period of individual investments (until exit) will be in the range of three to five years.

The Sixth Wave may invest in listed companies and other funds, equity or equity related instruments and eventually use derivatives instruments for hedging or speculative purposes. The Sixth Wave may be concentrated on certain asset class/single instruments. These kinds of investments are judged to fit within the broader Sixth Wave scope and vision. The Sixth Wave has initially not been created with the purpose to invest in early stage start-ups although it may collaborate with companies and funds focussing on first-round investments.

Potential investments in companies will be assessed on several key characteristics, including:

  • strategic fit with the Sixth Wave strategy;
  • value creation potential of the company;
  • ability to increase the scale of the offering;
  • quality and track-record of key management.
  • niche market products that have the potential to grow to mainstream

No assurance can be given that our portfolio will achieve its investment objective. No assurance can be given that any of these investments will be profitable or that any investment selected by the Investment Manager will achieve its investment objectives.