Anybody following the nascent psychedelics industry will be aware of the money being pumped into “medical psychedelic solutions” by two investors who have decided that being inside our brains and bodies is the future.
We all know who Peter Thiel is but German investor Christian Angermayer is less of a known quantity so we thought we might pop around the internet to build a bit of a picture around the man for those of you who might want to learn more.
Let’s start with Crunchbase who always provide a down to earth basic bio to start the ball rolling
Christian Angermayer is a serial entrepreneur and investor. With over 20 years in business, Christian has created, co-founded and invested in numerous successful companies across a broad section of sectors. He has raised over EUR 1.5bn for his portfolio companies and has been involved in more than 40 successful IPO- and M&A-transactions either as an entrepreneur, investor or banker/advisor.
He is the owner of Apeiron Investment Group, his family office and merchant banking business, which focuses in Germany and Africa on Financial Services (especially fintech), Internet and Technology (from ecommerce to deep tech), Life Sciences, Media, Real Estate and Natural Resources. Apeiron completes deals across the entire lifecycle and balance sheet of a company, from non-listed Seed/Start Up investments to larger scale Restructuring and Special Situations deals (mostly listed).
Christian’s family office holds stakes in various asset management companies with – together with his family office assets – in total approx. EUR 1bn assets under management.
Christian has been an entrepreneur since the age of 19 when he started his first business. He loves to push boundaries and to constantly discover, learn about and invest into new opportunities. Highlights include: In 2000 Christian co-founded Ribopharma, which merged with US peer Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in 2003 and subsequently went public (ticker symbol ALNY, USD 8bn Market Cap, a leading company for translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines). In 2004, he created JDC Group, Germany´s largest network of independent financial advisors (IFAs) with more than 16,000 IFAs and more than 1.4m retail clients. In 2007, Christian was one of the first international investors to realize that Africa would be one of the most important “megatrends” for the next few decades. Hence, he founded and created the African Banking Holding ADC African Development Corporation, that merged with Bob Diamond’s Atlas Mara in 2014.
Today, merging his profound experience at the nexus of traditional financial services and technology, he is one of the most active and significant investors in European fintech companies with a special focus on crypto-currencies and blockchain-related business models. Other cutting-edge areas for investments Christian is currently most excited about are longevity and anti-aging technologies, aerospace technologies and new drugs for mental wellbeing and enhancement.
In 2017, Christian has been the exclusive advisor to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group for building up their 9.9% stake in Deutsche Bank. Christian both had originated the investment idea and structured the entire process and transaction. German business magazine BILANZ ranks Christian among the top 10 most important German tech investors (No. 5/10) in their June 2017 issue and among the 1.000 richest Germans (No. 684/1.000)
In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Christian places great value on social, political and societal commitments. He is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a member of the Presidential Advisory Council of His Excellency President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, in the Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle and of Atlantik-Brücke.
Passionate about the arts and film, Christian has (executive) produced 14 feature films including critically acclaimed movies like FILTH and HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS.
Christian was born in Germany and is based in London.
Here’s what the Apereiron website says about the company
|Apeiron Investment Group Ltd, Malta, is the family office and|
|merchant banking business of Christian Angermayer.|
|Apeiron focuses on Financial Services (especially fintech and crypto|
|assets), Deep-Tech (AI, space-tech, cybersecurity etc.), Life Sciences,|
|Media & Entertainment and Real Estate & Prop-Tech.|
|In general, we invest in all phases and stages of a company’s life cycle,|
|but our focus lies on non-listed Seed/Start-up investments and larger|
|size Restructuring & Special Situations deals (often listed).|
|We have a special passion for blockchain and crypto companies. All our|
|investments in this space are done via our subsidiary CRYPTOLOGY|
|Asset Group PLC.|
In our life sciences practice, we aim to find solutions to help people live
longer, healthier and happier lives: With ATAI Life Sciences, we are
developing psychedelic substances to address significant unmet
medical needs that are rooted in a lack of innovation in
Neuropsychiatry over the last decades. With REJUVERON we focus on
cutting-edge technologies with the potential to significantly prolong
human life span.
|With Presight Capital, we invest in early stage rounds primarily in the|
|In order to complement and diversify our portfolio, which has a bias|
|towards Europe, we invest in Hedge Funds and Venture Capital Funds|
|globally – with a focus on funds investing in the US and China/Asia.|
|With Apeiron Advisory Ltd., we advise international investors on their|
|investments especially in Germany and Africa.
Apeiron Investment Group Ltd
Block A, Apt. 12, Il-Piazzetta, Tower Road, SLM1605 Sliema, Malta
Time now, to take a closer look at the Aims of ATAI. This is where the future starts to look somewhat like a dark version of a Huxley novel.
Press releases about raises are always very informative in their subtext and we note, the names these people like choose for their companies, very Ballardian !
NEW YORK & LONDON & BERLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ATAI Life Sciences, the global biotech platform dedicated to curing mental health disorders, has completed its series B financing round of $43 million (EUR 38 million).
“Mental illnesses such as depression are debilitating for so many people. And 100 million patients have treatment-resistant depression and don’t respond to existing medicines”
Founded in 2018 by Christian Angermayer, Lars Wilde and Florian Brand, ATAI takes a decentralized and big data platform approach to drug development – leveraging expertise, access to talent, financial resources and technology, thereby accelerating the pace at which compounds move through early stage clinical trials. ATAI focuses on developing paradigm-shifting and formerly stigmatized compounds with prior evidence for efficacy and safety in humans.
The new funds raised will be used for further investment in ATAI’s platform technology, to develop the existing drug pipeline, and to acquire additional compounds. The Series B round was led by Michael Auerbach’s New York-based Subversive Capital. It was subscribed by both new and existing investors, including Apeiron Investment Group, Bail Capital, and Efrem Kamen, founder of Pura Vida Investments.
ATAI’s initial focus is on developing solutions for the more than 300 million people who suffer from depression, a significant unmet medical need. In January, ATAI acquired Perception Neuroscience and is now developing an arketamine therapy for neuropsychiatric diseases. ATAI is also the largest investor in COMPASS Pathways, which is developing psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression and has received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA. In addition to drug compounds, the ATAI portfolio includes Innoplexus which delivers big data and AI solutions to big pharma and biotech companies and provides the technology ATAI will use to power its in-house drug discovery and development.
“Mental illnesses such as depression are debilitating for so many people. And 100 million patients have treatment-resistant depression and don’t respond to existing medicines,” said Florian Brand, CEO and Co-Founder of ATAI. “The companies on our platform are developing extremely promising candidates to treat mental health disordersand bring a much-needed paradigm shift.”
Michael Auerbach, Partner, Subversive Capital, said “It is such a privilege to be investing in a company that’s poised to make significant medical breakthroughs and find treatments that could help so many people.”
Christian Angermayer, Founder of ATAI, said “Our lean setup allows us to spread knowledge, resource and best practice across our platform, ensuring we can discover and develop compounds more efficiently and effectively. I am very proud that we have been able to assemble such a world-class group of leading researchers, computer scientists, entrepreneurs and investors for our mission to enable people to live healthier and happier lives.”
About ATAI Life Sciences
ATAI Life Sciences AG is a global biotech platform and company builder. Based in Berlin, London and New York, our vision is to cure mental health disorders, enabling people to live healthier and happier lives. www.atai.life
ATAI was founded by Christian Angermayer, Lars Wilde and Florian Brand, and was launched with initial seed backing totalling $12.6 million (EUR 11.2 million) from Apeiron Investment Group (Christian Angermayer’s family office), German investor HCS, Galaxy Financial (the family office of Mike Novogratz), and Ekaterina Malievskaia and George Goldsmith (Co-Founders of COMPASS Pathways). In September 2018, ATAI completed a Series A financing round in the amount of $24.4 million (EUR 21.6 million).
September 14th the Cannabis Investor published the following report on a UK listing for Compass backed by Angermayer
- In Yet Another Sign That Psychedelics Are Making Their Way Into the Mainstream, Compass Pathways, a UK-Based Psychedelics Startup Focused on Producing Psilocybin, Has Filed for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange
The London-based Compass Pathways, which will trade under the ticker symbol ‘CMPS,’ is backed by some serious heavyweights, including lead investor Christian Angermayer and well-known Silicon Valley tech billionaire Peter Thiel. As a leading psychedelics firm, Compass Pathways has been exploring the use of Psilocybin — a psychedelic compound that occurs in Magic Mushrooms — in the treatment of depression.
Especially so people’s interests
Angermayer. …..Maybe he’s just a lonely man with a big brunch and too much money to
spend on art ?
An article published last week on UK financial website Sifted shows us just another rich white guy with lots of money to spend on classical allusions. Sifted interviewed him in (we presume) his apartment that looks like the lobby of a bog standard 5 star international hotel that could be in London, Paris, New York, Munich (let’s talk about pop musik)
The article is full of the usual financial fawning where excessive wealth is always passed off as intellect and sophistication
He has also won the ear of political leaders — his sideboard has pictures of him with German chancellor Angela Merkel and Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz and European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde — and now regularly co-invests with renowned US investors such as Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, Steve Jurvetson, an early investor and board member of Tesla and SpaceX and Michael Novogratz from Galaxy Investment Partners.
“Christian is successful because he is curious,“ Thiel told Sifted in an email exchange. “He finds because he seeks — both ideas and people. That sounds simple, but it’s rare.”
His cousin, Stephan — not the only handsome young family member hanging around his apartment on a Saturday — is making some scrambled eggs with just the right hint of pepper.
Plenty more of a similar ilk at https://sifted.eu/articles/christian-angermayer-compass-atai/
The Company We Keep
Sifted Magazine also touch upon his relatonship with Rwandan president Paul Kagame
Oh, and he is on the advisory council of Rwandan president Paul Kagame. This came after, in 2009, he bought a bank in Rwanda after being impressed by meeting the leader at dinner in Germany. It was “the only thing that was being privatised at that moment”, he says. He expanded the lender and later sold it to Bob Diamond, the former Barclays CEO.
As the Rwandan New Times Reported back on November 18, 2009
Kagame receives German investors
URUGWIRO VILLAGE – President Paul Kagame yesterday received a delegation of German investors who are on a fact finding mission aimed at identifying investment opportunities in the country. The visit including a forty seven – man delegation of mainly business people and journalists, was organized by a member of the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC), Christian Angermayer, under the support of the Altira Group of which he is an executive board member. ( Source: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/13585)
Why do we highlight this relationship ? Let’s remember who and what Mr Kagame is.
Paul Kagame (/kəˈɡɑːmeɪ/; born 23 October 1957) is a Rwandan politician and former military leader. He is the 6th and current President of Rwanda, having taken office in 2000 when his predecessor, Pasteur Bizimungu, was dismissed and arrested. Kagame previously commanded the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the Uganda-based rebel force that invaded Rwanda and was one of the parties of the conflict during the Rwandan genocide. He was considered Rwanda’s de facto leader when he served as Vice President and Minister of Defence from 1994 to 2000. He was re-elected in August 2017 with an official result of nearly 99% in an election criticized for numerous irregularities. He has been described as the “most impressive” and “among the most repressive” African leaders. (Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Kagame)
Only recently Kagame had Paul Rusesabagina known best to westerners as the Hotel Rwanda film hero arrested and charged with terrorism . Read the BBC report. at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54147759
Kagame is publicly known to fiercely dispute the 2018 EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2018 – Rwanda
Which alleges “The EU and its Member States continued to focus their attention on two main priority areas: (i) the area of the most serious violations of human rights – i.e. enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and use of torture and other inhuman or degrading treatments in detention facilities, and ii) the area with the most significant restrictions of human rights – i.e. the politically related rights and freedoms such as the freedom of expression/freedom of media, freedom of association and freedom of assembly.”
Maybe Mr Angermayer should be sitting down with Mr Kagame for a Ayahuasca session per the following mentioned by Sifted in their report…
He (Angermayer) is, for instance, funding a study by Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial College in London, to study the effect of Palestinians and Israelis drinking the psychedelic drug Ayahuasca together.
Mr Angermayer is without doubt a complex human being, like the rest of us and he certainly knows how to make a buck, raise more than a few bucks and ingratiate himself with the powerful and sometimes the not so good.
He reminds us in 2020 of Zuckerbeg in the mid naughties, becoming increasingly powerful but as yet not entirely unapproachable.
Remembering that in 2004-2005 Facebook was just a place for college friends and familes to chat we should be aware of the power the likes of Angermayer have at their fingertips as they garner more money and power.
Facebook and Amazon want in the main our money. Angermayer appears to be heading to a future where our minds and bodies could become part of his empire.
If in doubt we always say read some mid 20th century writers and thinkers who explored these themes and generally things didn’t turn out well!
Christian Angermayer’s ATAI Life Sciences is positioned to take the psychedelic throne from MAPS
The Psychedelics Evangelist: A German Financier Wants to Turn Magic Mushrooms into Modern Medicine
A new biotech company has raised $25 million to help unleash a ‘virgin market’ of psychedelic research
- A new biotech company has raised $25 million to finance research on the effects of psychedelics and other drugs on depression and other mental illnesses.
- Called Atai Life Sciences, the company owns a large stake in a company called Compass Pathways, which is backed by Peter Thiel.
- German entrepreneur and investor Christian Angermayer founded Atai.
- Angermayer also said he planned to invest in research focused on drugs that could help fight aging and extend life.
In June, an under-the-radar startup backed by Silicon Valley tech mogul Peter Thiel made enough psilocybin — the active ingredient in magic mushrooms — to send 20,000 people on a trip. It was part of a larger effort by the company, called Compass Pathways, to study how psychedelic drugs could be used to treat depression.
It was just the beginning.
On Wednesday, German entrepreneur and Compass investor Christian Angermayer launched a new startup: a biotech company focused on financing more of the kind of research that Compass is doing. Called Atai Life Sciences, the company has already raised $25 million from investors like ex-hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz and Icelandic entrepreneur Thor Bjorgolfsson. Atai also owns roughly 25% of Compass, which Thiel has funded.
Also…. this fantastic Quartz article about Compass Pathways
A millionaire couple is threatening to create a magic mushroom monopoly
November 8, 2018
Prior to founding Compass, George Goldsmith and Ekaterina Malievskaia, a married couple, did not have experience in psilocybin research or working in the pharmaceutical industry. They’ve made headway thanks to tens of millions in dollars from investors including Silicon Valley libertarian Peter Thiel and former Wall Street-executive-turned-cryptocurrency-investor Mike Novogratz, along with the expertise and guidance of many long-standing psilocybin researchers. (Neither Thiel nor Novogratz responded to requests for comment.)
But many of those psilocybin experts now regret having helped the couple. Quartz spoke with 9 psilocybin experts who advised Goldsmith and Malievskaia, but today express concerns about the company’s motives and aims. These experts worked with Compass in different professional capacities: some had individual contracts, some were invited to attend Compass-hosted conferences or trips, and others worked (and some still do) for psychedelic research organizations that collaborate with Compass. All 9 raised questions about Compass’s intentions and professionalism, and worried that the company’s rush to bring the drug to market would create risks for patients. “You build this tower in a rush…and before you know it, it’s on fire and we can’t put it out,” says one academic, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution from Compass. Six had opportunities to work further with Compass but turned them down as a result of their concerns.