Speaker Spotlight: Juan Pablo Capello, CEO & Co-Founder of Nue Life
Nue Life Q&A
Juan Pablo Capello, CEO and Co-Founder of Nue Life
Interviewed by Erin Roche
What is Nue Life Health?
Nue Life Health is a next-gen mental wellness company that believes in the power of psychedelics to catalyze lasting change. At Nue Life we have a big, beautiful goal and are doing the work by leveraging a data-centric approach. We launched in 2021 with the goal of helping 1 million people address the root cause of their depression, anxiety and PTSD— as a way to address the mental health crisis coming out of COVID.
In the first 12 months, Nue Life safely treated nearly 5,000 patients and facilitated over 35,000 at-home ketamine experiences measuring all outcomes while focusing on patient safety, integration and after-care. Nue Life reached $1M+ per month in less than a year, maintained a 60%+ gross margin, and successfully launched in 9 states.
What is your background and why did you start Nue Life?
My dad used to say, “the best ideas are the ideas that help people.” I have always been fascinated by how we can leverage technology to improve the lives of ordinary people. I built the first online bank with some friends in Latin America. We focused the bank on inclusion and accessibility to help lower middle income consumers have a more human experience at the bank. We sold it to Banco Santander for a bit over $700 million. What I see in the area of mental health is a similar opportunity that I saw 20+ years ago in Fin-tech and online banking which is a huge problem, suboptimal solutions and emerging technologies that could really drive a paradigm shift.
It is obvious that we are in the midst of a mental health crisis. One out of five women over 40 takes an antidepressant any given day, we have a million veterans on disability for PTSD and treatment resistant depression, and rates of teen depression have doubled in the past 6 years. SSRI’s and talk therapy don’t work for many people and when they do work, it’s expensive and in the case of SSRIs, they may limit the lows, but SSRIs also limits people’s ability to feel joy. Most people don’t want to live in a “grey” zone.
Today there are emerging technologies around artificial intelligence and personalized medicine as well as the emerging science around psychedelics that can really drive a paradigm shift in how mental health solutions are delivered – a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do a tremendous amount of good while generating extremely favorable returns for investors. So for us the opportunity around behavioral health reflects a perfect balance or union of mission and margin.
What is unique Nue Life’s approach in this space?
Every other company in the space is basically trying to substitute daily antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds or just daily not-feeling-well for monthly or quarterly ketamine treatments. Which to be honest is not a bad trade. But at Nue Life Health we are trying to do something much more profound. We are NOT putting our patients on “maintenance” monthly or quarterly ketamine with daily antidepressants. Instead we are helping people heal the root cause of their suffering and disease, and the way we do that is to offer ketamine therapy along with AI-assisted integration and aftercare.
We are the only company in the space that is monitoring and supporting patients, well after the ketamine experiences. Our business model is to help patients on their journey of deep healing. The business models of the other companies leveraging ketamine is to simply serve up more ketamine. We have a very differentiated approach. And what allows us to do that, is we come to this as real tech entrepreneurs. And this is a new approach to mental wellbeing that we are offering to the world. We understand how to leverage analytics and big data to build smarter companies. That’s just a very different approach to anyone else in this space.
How would you describe the Nue Life team?
We have a remarkably run team and we recently published Nue Life’s Impact Report, which communicates its values and commitment to ethical psychedelic treatment—the whole founding team are people of color and women, we are public benefits corporation and we are committed to sharing our data to improve the standard of care for all patients.
On the tech side our co-founder and COO Demian Bellumio ran the knowledge graph group at Accenture, he also was the head of the big data and AI group at Neoris, another large consulting firm. On the medical side we have three medical directors who have incredible experience in the space. Dr. Zayn Hassan was running a company called My Ketamine Home which we acquired. We have Dr. Ben
Medrano who was Chief Medical Officer at Field Trip, and we have Dr. Lynn-Marie Morski, the founder of the Psychedelic Medical Association (PMA). Nue Life’s commitment to accessibility and to elevating the standard of care is what has attracted such amazing talent.