March 8, 2024

Exclusive: Daniel Ek's new bet on longevity

Opening in Stockholm in the next few weeks its long-term aim is to change healthcare

Mimi Billing

5 min read

The founders of Sand Clinic, Anna Levander and Jennie Sandqvist

The upper echelons of Stockholm society will soon have a new place to spend their money: a luxurious longevity clinic half-owned by the founders of Spotify.

Sand Clinic, which is weeks from opening its doors and has raised €4m in a rare joint investment from Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, will offer its members everything from primary care to vascular ultrasound and red light therapy (thought to be good for repairing skin, boosting new cell growth and enhancing skin rejuvenation).

Longer-term, Sand Clinic's founders Anna Levander and Jennie Sandqvist want to revolutionise care in the Western world.


“We believe that over time we will relieve the healthcare systems in Sweden and beyond,” Levander says.

The set-up

Sand Clinic is located on the third floor of a new life-sciences building in north-central Stockholm, which is still something of a building site when Sifted visits.

Levander — who happens to be Spotify CEO Ek’s in-law — gives a guided tour of the clinic.

The interior design and music wouldn’t seem out of place at a spa, while nurses, physicians, dieticians, nutrition specialists, a coach, a physiotherapist and an ultrasound expert loiter in specialist treatment rooms.

There’s one for vascular ultrasound (to find blood clots and narrowing of vessels), gynaecology, primary care, blood samples, heart and muscle performance checks, vacuum therapy (provides elasticity to the skin and relaxes the muscles), red light sauna and a gym for finding the right exercises (where members can bring their personal trainers as well).

There’s also a back door to the clinic for members who want to stay completely incognito.

Members can receive regular checkups, as well as an annual full body check-up which will take about three hours by the time the member has been passed through the different stations, including a conference room with all specialists and the member present to set a plan going forward.

Memberships are expected to cost between €1,000 and €10,000 a month — a fixed price has yet to be set, according to Levander.

“We decided early that we needed a Tesla launch strategy and to target people who have the means to invest in their health,” says Levander. “But our ambition is over time to open up smaller and less costly clinics with the most impactful treatments that we find from our collected data and the procedures we do here.”

The Spotify link

It’s not cheap to set up a posh clinic either. But billionaires Ek and Lorentzon, who each own 25% of the company, have fully funded the project, putting in €4.3m to date.

It’s not Ek’s first venture into healthcare; in 2022, he launched his diagnostics startup Neko Health, which offers full-body scanning. Lorentzon, meanwhile, said his goal is to live to 120 in an interview last year.

The last joint investment the pair did together was the UK-based startup in 2016.

Despite having financed Sand Clinic, neither will take board seats; instead, they’ve picked one person each from their family offices Cervantes Capital and Antheia Investment to sit on the board as observers.


But why Sand Clinic?

Sandqvist, a former physician in the regional healthcare system in Sweden, decided to start her own healthy ageing care company, Swedish Biohealth, in 2016.

One of her patients introduced Sandqvist to Ek, which is where the idea behind Sand Clinic was born.

She then asked her old friend Levander, whose CV includes investment roles as well as business development for pharmaceutical and medical device companies, to join as a cofounder.

Ek wasn’t against having his in-law as CEO of the new company, according to Sandqvist, and Ek brought in Lorentzon on the deal as well.

A treatment room at Sand Clinic

The difference between Sand Clinic and a private health clinic?

Sand Clinic seems pretty similar to most other private health clinics for the ultra-rich — except when it comes to the treatments on offer.

“Our long-term ambition is to revolutionise the Western way of doing healthcare. The large goal is to get these kinds of treatments reimbursed by public health insurance,” Levander says.

With changes to data aggregation in healthcare, which gives better cause and correlation analyses — one can better combine data on patients to understand the cause of illnesses and what helps alleviate those as well as compare them to smaller sets of data on other patients — Levander believes that the model of healthcare “is about to flip”.

At present, the company is working on a technical system solution to combine the parallel processes in a healthcare team — one for each level of care including primary care, experts in nutrition, medicine, mental health and others — which Levander says isn’t available today.

“In the Western care system today, the different care teams are working in silos which limits the understanding of the connection between them,” she says.

“We need a system that connects the different dots to facilitate compliance by the patient.”

Evidence-based practices

Longevity professionals around the world have been pushing to classify ageing as a disease (something that hasn’t happened yet) to speed up research and development around the topic.

And, although Sandqvist says that developments are picking up pace, there’s still not enough evidence for most alternative treatments out there — such as longevity supplements, stem cell treatments against ageing and plasma replacements.

“Revolutionary things are happening on a research level in this field right now. We want to share that information with our members so that they can make informed decisions. But then it is a completely different matter what we recommend from a purely medical perspective — everything we do must have scientific support,” Sandqvist says; Sand Clinic won’t offer treatments to members unless they’ve been scientifically proven.

It will also rely on members’ biomarkers — the measures used to perform a clinical assessment — to decide which treatments to recommend.

“We are overwhelmed by information on longevity treatments and we have an important educational role to play,” Levander says.

Mimi Billing

Mimi Billing is Sifted's Europe editor. She covers the Nordics and healthtech, and can be found on X and LinkedIn