Serial entrepreneur and prolific psychedelic investor, Christian Angermayer, recently sat down with Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano to discuss how he is “investing in innovation.”
The wide ranging conversation touched on multiple topics including Christian’s foray into psychedelics, what led him to invest in Compass Pathways, why he started ATAI Life Sciences, and what he believes will be the best performing asset class over the next 20 years.
Christian’s Path to Psychedelics
In the interview, Christian describes how while at dinner with a famous neuroscientist, he was convinced that he should try psychedelics at some point in his life.
After the dinner, Christian began researching psychedelic compounds and their potential benefits to society. And after reading so much, he decided to give mushrooms a chance.
The experience was life changing for Christian: “It was the single most meaningful thing I’ve ever done in my whole life… nothing really comes close.”
From the one experience, Christian realized that if it had such a profound impact on him, it needed to be legal again.
He then looked around to see who was working on interesting things in the space and was dismayed that it was empty due to the legal murkiness.
Why Christian Invested in Compass Pathways
During a meeting with Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners, Christian was describing the profound experiences he was having with mushrooms. Mike explained that he had done mushrooms while younger, but hadn’t thought about them in 20 years.
Coincidentally though, Mike’s sister met a “crazy couple from london” who were looking to bring magic mushrooms to market.
That crazy couple was George Goldsmith and Ekaterina Malievskaia, the founders of Compass Pathways (CMPS).
At that point in time, Compass did not yet exist, but it was looking for a seed investment. After 15 minutes on the phone with George and Ekaterina, Christian decided he was in. He then called Mike Novogratz and Peter Thiel to see if they would like to join him, which they did.
Thus, the first for profit psychedelic company was born.
The Founding of ATAI Life Sciences.
While Compass was focused on psilocybin, Christian was still interested in the other psychedelic compounds that could make a difference in people’s lives.
He realized that one of the main problems and reasons why there weren’t more psychedelics companies coming to market was that Most of the scientists working on psychedelics didn’t have the business acumen to bring them to market.
ATAI, therefore was born to partner with the scientists. Christian describes ATAI as much more than a holding company as they “have a strong clinical trial team, a strong finance team, and a fundraising team”
ATAI now has 12 new medical drugs in the pipeline in various stages. We have covered the companies bringing these compounds to market in depth here.
The company is slated to go public in early 2021 and recently had a massively oversubscribed Series C.
The Best Performing Asset Class Over the Next 20 Years
During the interview, Christian discusses that he believes that biotech will be one of the best performing asset classes of the next 20 years.
He explains that, “what tech was the last two decades, the next two decades will be biotech” and that “50% of my entire portfolio is in biotech.”
Christian explains that breaks his biotech portfolio into two main focuses: longevity and mental health.
The mental health bucket contains his psychedelic investments including Compass Pathways and ATAI Life Sciences.