If you could wake up 10,000 years in the future, would you? 

Tune in as special guest Fernando Pinheiro, internet entrepreneur turned health tech entrepreneur, shares about his journey from Rocket internet to human cryopreservation, current advancements in cryopreservation technology, and the challenges of preserving complex organisms like humans.

We also delve into the intricate psychology behind cryopreservation decisions, as well as the legal, ethical and financial considerations of human cryopreservation, including the potential revival of legally dead individuals.

Join us in a thought-provoking discussion that got us questioning “What if the key to immortality lies in freezing life itself?”

Listen to the full podcast here:

Also available on Apple Podcast. And if you prefer, you can watch the full episode here:

Featured materials:
INSIGHT Magazine, tomorrow.bio
r/cryonics, reddit

[AI-generated transcript] 

[00:00:23] Sabrina
Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of the Impulso podcast. So today, Jianggan and I are joined by Wei Han, our colleague who majored in life science. And we also have special guest Fernando Pinheiro. And today we’re going to talk about the very interesting topic of cryopreservation.

[00:00:40] Jianggan
Is that the right pronunciation?

[00:00:41] Sabrina

Yes, I googled it before the podcast. It’s correct. Cryopreservation.

[00:00:46] Fernando

So yeah, but you can even be more can even be a more specific and say human cryopreservation.

[00:00:51] Jianggan

Did you study that in university ?

[00:00:53] Wei han

No, I didn’t but I’ve heard of the concept of freezing cells organs and really cold temperatures So human cryopreservation sounds

[00:01:03] Jianggan

So so Fernando has been a friend for 10 years and we used to build companies together.

So we’ll talk to that, talk about that later, but I’m going to call you Pinheiro, it’s easier for me. But I think yesterday I was asking the team, right? I mean, like asking everyone, do you want to live forever? And everybody, including the two ladies who are here said no chance.

 [00:01:29] Sabrina

Only Jianggan said yes, actually.

 [00:01:32] Jianggan

Yeah. So, so obviously I think, I’m not sure whether there’s a generational gap or something, but I think everybody in the office seems happy to die, I don’t know, seems okay with the, with the concept of dying. So, now you are working on this thing, which is about tomorrow, which is.About, I mean, I don’t know, bring the dead back alive or something like that. So can you explain?

 [00:01:54] Fernando

No, not really. I can explain. So first of all, guys thank you very much. I’m very happy to be here. So as you can see, my name is Fernando. I’m from Brazil. I’m a civil engineer by training. I have been working with tech for a bit more than a decade.

I started working for rocked internet in Brazil. That’s how I met Jianggan. And then I moved to Africa to manage the operations of one of the tech companies there in the continent. Later on, launch my own startup in Cape Town, South Africa, worked there for a few more years and sold the company.

I came back to Brazil to try to figure out what to do next. And then I was working with consulting, I was traveling, I was helping some other companies. And I, and then I started and I randomly met my current co founder. He’s a German doctor by training, but he also. Had tech background. So he had other two health tech startups, and we were talking about deep tech and some other cool, interesting projects.

And I realized that I didn’t really want to work with another e commerce, another marketplace, another app. I really wanted to work something that it’s basically impossible to do in emerging markets. And it’s mostly like Europe, China or United States. And then I was fascinated about the role of human cryopreservation.

And especially like longevity, like how can you impact humankind for real. Right. And it just answer your question. Interesting thing is that majority of our members are people that are signed up for preservation. It’s not that they want to live forever. I don’t really believe in immortality per se.

I think that death, it’s something as normal as being born, but. If you can extend your life, like, why not? If you have the option to, you know, like, live for much longer than you currently can, why would you not do that? And, funny enough, I don’t think, just as Jianggan commented about generational gap, I don’t think that’s necessarily generational gap, I think it is more related to it’s a difference between That’s my personal opinion.

It can be a bit controversial, but just because of our facts that we have, 88 percent of our members are men. And for, so, and funny enough, the 12 percent that are women, most of them are there because their husband or boyfriend or some relative signed up for cryopreservation. I think that we have very few women that Actually sign up for themselves.

And there is obviously a lot of theories about why this happens which we can also address later.

 [00:04:19] Jianggan

76 percent of the members who, who are men but who refuse to sign up for their wives, girlfriends or people they love?

 [00:04:27] Fernando

Not necessarily. In fact, funny enough, I think there are some of them that they actually don’t, and I told them it’s a terrible idea.

They did sign up, it’s true, without telling their, their loved ones or wives. But because , their loved ones are against it, right? So, ah, you know, you’re going to be waking up in the future without me or something like that. But reality just because of lack of interest, like they do in fact want to sign up the whole family, but sometimes like you cannot force people, right?

And you, they need to take their decisions for themselves. And tomorrow we believe in something that’s called informed consent, right? So there’s a lot of ifs, right? And especially if the current technology exists today meaning that we don’t know if it is ever going to work, right? When we are very transparent about that.

Especially with the technology that exists today, but it doesn’t mean that’s not going to work in the future or the biostasis technology of the future is not going to be good enough that you can literally put someone to cryo sleep indefinitely and reanimated this individual safely in the future.That’s basically what we are aiming for.

 [00:05:31] Jianggan

when you talk about, I don’t know, I mean, people who do not necessarily want to live forever, but they want to have a chance to extend our life and stuff. I don’t know. I mean, I’m not sure whether it’s sensitive, but can you walk us through the process of how it works and whether that’s industry standard that you and and the other firms which do the apply the same technology or similar technology would go through a similar process.

And I mean, we touched upon that, but what’s the psychology of the people who, who sign up for it? I mean, is that straightforward. Okay. I’m in, and I sign up and I wait for the time I die or,

 [00:06:09] Fernando

You know, like this is, this is a good question. I always like to answer because the thing about cryopreservation, it’s a type of life decision, right?

It’s not an impulsive purchase. So people spend a lot of time thinking about it. And I always like to answer what is cryopreservation, right? And for you, in order to understand the psychology of people, I always like to use this metaphor. Think about for a second that you are on an airplane, right? And then the captain of this airplane goes on mic and says, Dear passengers, unfortunately, this plane is about to crash.

And there is nothing I can do about it. But, luckily, there are some experimental parachutes on board, and there is enough for everyone, and then the captain offers the passengers a choice. It says, raise your hands if you want a parachute, but there is a catch the parachutes have never been tested and I have no idea what you’re going to find in the ground in case a parachute works.

If you want it, raise your hands, if not, just remain seatedthis all is going to end soon. So the question the real question here is that what would you do in situation? Would you, I’m actually asking you, Jianggan, like, what would you do in situation? Would you remain seated in crash or would you jump? For you for the girls as well?

 [00:07:26] Sabrina

I’ll stay in the plane. I think it would be a faster. Yeah, I don’t think I have the courage to jump out of the plane.

 [00:07:35] Fernando

And you just, and you, and you have the courage to remain seated and crash. That’s also fine. What would you do? Of course. Right? The majority of the people that I spoke about it, obviously this is a metaphor, right?

But the majority of the people that I spoke about it, they would jump, right? They would take their chances, right? And just because I don’t know, personally, I love living, right? So I’m not gonna, if I

 [00:07:55] Jianggan

yeah, but there’s also this issue, right? We say that imagine you are in this situation, but you are not in that kind of situation.

I mean, when I am thinking about this now as a healthy person who still has a, I don’t know, a lovely family, a lovely team and something interesting to do versus versus if one day I’m in this situation where I need to make a decision, otherwise life is going to end tomorrow. I think probably feels very different, right?

 [00:08:09] Fernando

No, absolutely. But the point is that because we’re talking about such a long time frames, right? So, no one, I don’t know, no one here in this call is expecting to die in the next 50 years but still can happen, right? And even though like you can, you can just say that your life and I can, or we can be more specific, like aging.

It’s basically that plane, it’s going to crash, may not be tomorrow, maybe be 50, 60 years from now, hopefully, but still going to crash.

So the aspect here that we were trying to say is that. If you could extend your life for longer, why would you not do that? Right? I’m not advocating that I don’t know, like people this is for everyone.

I’m saying that I believe that there are lots of people out there that really wants to live longer. And personally, if there was a pill tomorrow that says, Hey, take this pill and you’re going to live with a younger, healthy body for 200 years. Hell yeah, I would totally do it. So majority of our people that sign up for it just answer your question is that they are super optimistic about life, right?

And they’re optimistic about the future. Just even a bit, some stats. So the average age of four members is around 36 years old. So everyone’s pretty, pretty much young, fairly young, right? So as I said, they’re not expecting to die in the next five decades. And, and they still sign up for it because they believe it is an interesting project.

They’re really interested in the future in general. So they’re optimistic that life is going to be better. And if you think about it statistically speaking, not statistically, let’s think about some other metrics human index development, for instance, right now we are living in the best time to be alive as a human, right?

There was no other time in human history that all the development decks were better than right now. Talked about and so there is absolutely no reason to believe that the future is going to be worse, right? And there are so many people that think that somehow they may gonna be waking up in some cyberpunk dystopian future.

When in reality, it’s not true. Like most probabilities that It’s going to be much better than it is right now. So that’s why they bet like that, right? So they’re interesting. Oh, you know, I want to see the space I want to have the opportunity to see humans living in mars And a lot of things that they’re talking about so far away in the future, but no one knows for sure How long it’s going to take so that’s why they’re making this bet all right, if you can support this project and improve this technology to the point where when they need it It’s so good enough that it can actually pause my death.

Why not? And actually, it’s an interesting thing. Death is not a moment. Death is a process, right? Anyone who works , in Biosciences understand that, right? It’s not like because, for instance, if you have a heart attack and you fall on the streets. 50 years ago, people say that you were dead, but because they didn’t know CPR, right?

So you weren’t really dead. So that’s the point. You were doomed by the current technology of the time. But you’re not really dead. So that’s basically one of the aspects here is that if you manage to cryopreserve your brain and your body and other mental structures, right? Assuming that. No matter what your system of beliefs is we are all organic machines.

So as long as you can fix what’s broken, in theory you can run indefinitely. It doesn’t mean that you are immortal, like, because you can die out of something else, right? But in theory, like, as long as you can be fixing yourself, you can still operate indefinitely.

 [00:11:39] Jianggan

I think I think also I remember when I was watching this this musical, Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton. And and of course it’s based on one of the founding fathers of the United States. And I remember in the musical, there was this scene saying that he constantly felt that he was running out of time. He was running out of time because he had so many things to do. Do you have like, I don’t know, members, clients who have this kind of feeling?

So maybe not exactly optimistic about. The future, but but they just feel that, okay, their, their life is the mission. They have so many things they want to do and they want more time to do it.

 [00:12:11] Fernando

Absolutely. Another stat here I think around 35, 36 percent of our members, they are working tech. So there are like software engineers or their tech entrepreneurs or they work in technology in general, right?

So it’s not only about That they are optimistic about life But there are so much stuff that they would like to do or see and feel and experiment and just there isn’t enough time Or when you finally have the time, you’re just too old to really enjoy all these things that you could potentially do.

Right. So that’s basically the mission. And all these people, they do have this view of like, if I could live much longer, I could have a much, much stronger impact in the world. And funny enough, this is not only about people that are necessarily, let’s say agnostic or atheist. We have a member that she is very, very religious.

She’s Catholic and. She has this view that, if in case I die, and this is obviously it’s on a Catholic view. And I go to heaven and then you guys for some reason managed to reanimate me and I go back to life. This means that it’s God’s will that I’m back to life. So therefore I still have more time to do God’s work in this planet.

So everyone is pretty much mission driven, right? And that’s basically why it’s aligned with what we do as well. So we are pretty much a mission driven organization. And that’s why our investors, they all understand that no one is pushing us to. There is no like, Oh, we need to sell the company five years to, you know, pay back LPs and venture capital roles.

You know, like we don’t have that. So that’s one of the cool things about working in deep tech as well, because the incentives are different and the mission is it’s, it’s real, really mission driven and majority of people that are working with that, they are not financially incentivized. They are most like, obviously if this works, it’s suddenly you have like a multi billion dollar business, but.

This is not really the point. It’s like, if you can really help people and you can really like help us as a species as a whole, you know, like by the simple fact that you can pause or slow down aging, imagine the impact that this would have in the world.

 [00:14:14] Jianggan

So do you still want to die, Sabrina and Wei Han?

 [00:14:18] Sabrina

I don’t mind. I don’t want to live for very long. So it’s not that I want to die. I just, if I die, I die, you know. I don’t want to preserve my body. Cause you don’t know what you’ll wake up to either. You don’t know how long it’ll take. For the technology to be built, right?

 [00:14:34] Jianggan

But isn’t that the exciting thing about that? Maybe, you wake up in a total desert and all of humanity have vanished and you are alone there.

 [00:14:41] Sabrina

I watch too many dystopian movies. I feel like I don’t think I’m going to wake up to anything good.

 [00:14:47] Fernando

You know, sorry to interrupt you guys, but this is so common. Like, the answer that you just gave me, it’s one of the most common answers normally women that are necessarily interested in this topic reply.

And I have a theory about it. I think this is a more about like a tribalistic type of thing. Like men and again, I may be a bit controversial here. Forgive me, men can be a bit more selfish in that sense. Right? So women normally, that’s one of the deep conversations I have with some members as well, that the female members of ours, like why more women are not necessarily interested in this topic.

And they said that normally they think a lot about not only about themselves, but everyone around them. So like they would not like to wake up in a world where let’s say their husband, their children, their sisters, siblings, or parents are not around. They just don’t see the point. So I think it’s probably a way how we are wired.

Again, like I don’t have data. This is just purely speculative, like theory, but based on the conversation that we had, like this would help explain why. This, it’s interesting so much more to men than to women.

 [00:15:55] Sabrina

 I think you’ve given us a very good explanation of what cryopreservation is and the general sort of demographic of your client. But I guess you also mentioned that, you know, it’s not definitive, right? Like these people are preserved, but there’s no guarantee that they would be woken up in 10 years, 50 years.

But have there been any recent breakthroughs? In technology that you think would help expedite this process in the past, maybe five or 10 years.

 [00:16:26] Fernando

So you need to understand that the cryopreservation, the problem right now is more physical than biological, right? So technology itself exists for many, many years.

You know, you cryopreserve the human eggs, sperm, embryos. Actually, recently I read a case about the lady that she had her embryo preserved for 30 years. And there’s still a perfectly normal, healthy baby was born, right? The challenge is, it’s a more about = how can you perfuse the body and the cells with cryoprotective agents very fast and homogeneously?

And how can you cool down fast or can later on warm up fast? And that’s basically one of the challenges. Because right now, like, why can you only cryopreserve someone after this person is declared legally dead? It’s because if we started to perfuse cryoprotective agents while someone’s alive, what happens is that you increase concentrations and the cells, you start basically expelling water out of the cells and injecting cryoprotective agent inside.

And the purpose of it is that once you reduce the body to cryogenic temperatures, You stop and prevent ice formation inside the cell. So ice, obviously, they have sharp crystals and they basically make a lot of holes. So everyone, if you already froze a tomato, you know, it gets super mushy afterwards, basically because it exploded all the cells, right?

And cryoprotective agents prevent that. But, cryoprotective agents, at least the ones that exist today, they’re very toxic in the sense that the cells start to metabolize that and then produce toxicity inside the cell and the cell dies. So if you try to coral preserve, if you try to refuse someone with coral protective agents today, you literally kill this person, right?

So that’s why you cannot do that. Another issue as well is that our body is, is formed by different organs and tissues, right? And these tissues are formed by different cells and each one of those cell or different tissues, they cool down and they warm up at different rates, meaning that if I wanted to cryopreserve someone, I need to be able to control that temperature gradient homogeneously, right?

This just doesn’t exist. And and if you try to do that, what happens is if you try to cool down too fast, you, you create a term of stress. So you start fracturing cells inside because, you know, the organs are expanding, contracting at different rates. You don’t want to do that. It’s, it’s doable with, let’s say, Ambrose or human eggs or sperm because it’s just one cell.

Right, you go there, boom, inject it and cool down super fast and it’s over. Right, it’s very, very difficult to do it with more complex organisms. So there are some cool, interesting projects. I’m going to talk about just one that happened last year in the United States. University of Minnesota. Actually, this will be one of the collateral interesting, positive outcomes of developing biostats technology is to work with organ, organ preservations, right?

So right now, one of the biggest challenges of organs transplantation is that you have like a couple of hours to find a recipient. Right. And most of the time, majority of the organs goes to waste because they just don’t find enough, they don’t have enough time to find someone compatible for that particular organ, right?

And these scientists in the University of Minnesota, they did the experiment where they extracted the kidneys of rats and they inject cryoprotective agents within these kidneys, but with the difference is that they also had some iron particles on it. And they basically remove it, refuse it, and cool down super fast, and then kept it preserved for 100 days, right?

Then they re warmed it using induction. That’s why the iron particles there, so they could control the gradient of the gradient of temperature to avoid thermal stress in the, in the, in the organ. Transplanted it back to the rat, and they had an amazing 100 percent survival rate. So this was a really great breakthrough.

It means that in theory you could do that with scale, right, with like a much larger organ as well, including human ones. And this would be something significantly important for, let’s say, Oregon cryopreservation. You could vitrify an Oregon, and when you find someone compatible, let’s say there’s a donor, I don’t know, in Brazil, and there is someone compatible in Finland, right?

Then you would have enough time to transport that Oregon there and revive that Oregon there. Without damage and and still the person who could receive that organ in really good shape, right? So that’s one of the interesting good outcomes of this type of research. And basically that’s the direction we wanted to go.

Just to give you an idea. We recently in partnership with other people interesting cryopreservation and also in the blockchain space, we formed a DAO that’s called CryoDAO and we are using this DAO literally to fund pure science research. So stuff that normally would not receive money.

So it goes to universities just let’s say, Hey, you have some cryobiology interesting project here. That would solve one of these problems that we have actually mapped how to how reanimation would work. And and then the Dow funds the project. And this is actually, we currently have two projects funded.

 One of the projects is viscosity of cryoprotective agents as well. That could help, you know, refuse faster, et cetera. There are some people working in the problem of rewarming. So you could use basically a chamber with ultrasounds. And we warm it like you can control like exactly what’s the temperature you want to go inside the body.

So there’s a lot of really cool projects going on. And recently in the United States, there are some other true biotech companies that were founded that is, they are working, but this is more pure science type of things. They’re working in biostases as well, like how can you you know, crowd preserve a complex tissue and reanimate it safely in the future.

So there’s really some cool things happening. We believe that more money should go to this. Just like in longevity field specifically, let’s say, for instance, Sam Altman recently, not recently, but he invested almost $200 million in biosciences. Actually, I met the founder there in the US, a very nice guy, really cool project.

Jeff Bezos as well. So other, all these like Google was all investing in some other longevity project there in Bay Area. So there is a lot of money going to longevity. There’s a multiple aspects of longevity as well. That’s why acquired preservation and biostasis we believe is also the next frontier.

And in fact, there are lots of people moving from longevity to biostasis. And that’s why, like, we also position ourselves a bit more like a pioneers because we’re really trying to push this project forward. And before us, nothing really had happened in the last 20 years before starting tomorrow, right?

And all organizations that already exist, they are not, they’re not companies. There are non profit organizations the most famous ones that are in the U. S., and they have been operating for 50 years, right? But because they’re non profits, they don’t have, capital to invest in marketing or to educate the market, and this is something that we are doing.

We also have a facility in Switzerland but it’s separate from us. It’s a separate entity. It’s a foundation as well. It’s European bastards foundation. And we use the facility, there are separate funding board, et cetera this is the place where we preserve our patients, but also where we like to run our own research, where we have a lab set up there.

And in this way, we separate, you know, capital, so have capital for research, pure research and our investors, we go purely for marketing and, you know educating the market and making people that are already interested in the topic figure out that they can sign up now, at least here in Europe.

 [00:23:58] Jianggan

I see Weihan nodding her head when we talk about technology is something that resonated with your university days. Maybe, maybe, I don’t know. I mean, some of your classmates or. Future, juniors would be passionate about it. I have two specific questions actually about this. First is about the technology part, right? So you see that the technology is constantly constantly constantly evolving. But for people who are cryopreserved, I presume at least for the the cooling down process, they have already gone through it. So, and that’s one way to update that process, right? They have to live with whatever they have been through, right? That’s the first question. And the second question, you mentioned about like having a facility in Switzerland, and I presume that the different countries would have different regulations regarding this. I mean, how this is preserved and so how this is allowed or not allowed, and how this, I don’t know, patient, member, whatever, who are preserved, should be treated, are they humans, are they corpses? What exactly are they? And the relative question is that how do you deal with the sovereign risk, right? I mean, laws can change, I mean, I don’t know, over like 200 years or something.

 [00:25:03] Fernando

Let me answer the question that you said about sovereignty and the foundation and everything else first. I think it’s important to say, like, why did we chose Switzerland, right?

So first, because Switzerland is the most stable country in Europe, right? There was, haven’t been any war there in the last 200 years. And they’re super they have very strict laws with the foundations there. Meaning that foundations cannot suddenly change their mission, right? Meaning that let’s say 50 years from now, the board of TBF decided, you know what, now we’re not going to do cryopreservation anymore. We’re going to do study space cancer. I don’t know. Right. So they decided that they wanted to get rid of all the people cryopreserve there. They can’t, right? So they just cannot.

But that’s interesting thing. We have another organization. So we have three separate organizations. The organization we call patient foundation. So basically it works like a trust. So one of the reasons why cryopreservation currently so expensive is because let’s say, for instance, if someone wants to cryopreserve themselves today, it costs 200, 000 euros, but from those 200, 000 euros, 120, 000 euros goes to this trust and whathis istrust does is that it invests this 120, 000 euros in lower risk assets.

Let’s say U. S. American bonds, et cetera, that yields inflation Switzerland plus one or two percent. So this is enough income to keep the patients preserved indefinitely, right? This is a question that you guys didn’t ask. Like, how can I make sure that I’m going to be preserved for very, very long? So that’s the purpose of that other foundation is to finance EBF, right?

So making sure that the patients there are. Maintained and all the trustees of this foundation. There are people sign up for cryopreservation for many, many years. So everyone’s aligned. So it’s a self perpetuating board and there’s a lot of strong criteria of how can it become a board there and Everyone signed up to be cryopreserved as well in Switzerland.

So there’s a very, very long term alignment there. And then, as you said, like, let’s assume that then in 200 years from now, the technology still doesn’t exist and it becomes illegal in Switzerland for whatever reason to keep patients there. So that’s the purpose of that separate foundation is to, okay, cool.

We have the capital now to, in case something happens move the people that are cryopreserved in Switzerland somewhere else, right? And then yeah, that’s basically what it does. It’s like a system where we design this for maximum security and stability in the long term. But we, obviously it’s very difficult to predict everything that could absolutely happen in, in very, very long future.

We try to just do the tools that hopefully if technology doesn’t get there. New people in charge, they will, they will have the flexibility to take decisions in order to, you know making sure everyone’s preserved safely and the, the, the people can still be preserved indefinitely there.

 [00:28:00] Jianggan

So let’s say that if someone is preserving in Switzerland say, I don’t know, Vietnamese passport, and he’s preserved in Switzerland, and when he wakes up, and let’s assume that the law is still the same, but I don’t know I mean, Vietnam becomes part of whatever, something bigger, and Switzerland is still there, I mean, what would the legal status be?

 [00:28:17] Fernando

Yeah, so that’s an interesting thing, right? Legally speaking, right? When someone is declared legally dead, you cease to be a citizen, right? So your ID is canceled, right? And you lose the rights of every single assets you have, so I don’t have an answer for that.

Most likely. We’re going to have to catch up with the law, right? When this becomes a possibility to reanimate someone. But this is not also something that didn’t happen before, right? There are several cases of people, you know, that were declared dead, but they were not really dead, they were lost in the sea or whatever.

And then, you know, like they still had to bring these people back to life as a citizen in the country where this person was from, right? So this was done before and I don’t know exactly what would be the legal structure for this. But obviously if suddenly someone that was declared dead and this person appeared alive and you prove that you are who you are so there’s always a way to, you know, bring the idea of this person or Making this person a citizen again, unless the government for some crazy reason refuses, but I find it very unlikely, but if this becomes common in the future, I’m pretty sure law will catch up as well. Like regulation will catch up.

 [00:29:24] Jianggan

So, so in that regard, are you optimistic?

 [00:29:27] Fernando

I’m super optimistic. Actually this is a problem we also have to face because. For instance, the majority of our members are not wealthy, but we do have a few members that they’re wealthy and they also wanted to, you know, transport part of their wealth in the future.

And then they say, ah, you know, I’m going to create a foundation or my, there’s going to, I was going to be someone in my family. And I said, yeah, the problem of these foundations is that. You know, I had zero like emotional connection with my great grandfather, I never met them. So like suddenly I have managing, like his foundation with all this money here.

So like why not use it? You know, like your, your descendants not necessarily are going to be aligned with your interests. That’s why we created this foundation as well, but still some of them say, okay, cool, but I still want to, you know, bring part of my wealth in the future, how do we do that?

So we’re still trying to work on a solution for this, but the problem is that you always have some level of trust because there is no legal you know, there’s no legal structure that says, hey, in case this person is being brought back to life, I’m obliged, this foundation is obliged to return the assets that this person donated to this foundation. It just doesn’t exist. So we’re still going to have to catch up in relation to the future for sure. But I’m not so concerned about that. I think that if this becomes a reality and it like it, it will catch up.

 [00:30:47] Jianggan

Does everyone get the same service? Or if someone says that I’m super rich I mean, 200, 000 euros is nothing for me, I want to pay like 2 million euros and it can be a better service. I mean, would they get it, get that?

 [00:30:57] Fernando

So currently, no, because like right now, so the only biggest difference that we have is that someone, some people can, put a bit more money into their, let’s say term life insurance policy and they can, you know, in case of needed, we get a private medical jet just to fly faster.

This is also some of the discussions that we were having as well, because there are actually, we do have some investors from Singapore and a couple of them asked, okay, cool. But like when, great, you guys are there in Europe, but how about me? I’m here, right? I’m here in Southeast Asia. So what do I do?

So like right now, this moment, there is not much you can do, but no, not true. We always going to pick up everyone, right? So no matter where you are in the world. We will always pick you up. The problem is quality because like speed is very, very important, right? Because you’re trying to avoid schema damage. You try to. start perfusing the cells before they start dying. So that’s why for quality of cryopreservation, speed is very, very important. But then if someone, for instance, said, okay, cool, have all this, I want a dedicated team, 24 hours a year in my country, it’s doable, right?

So as I said, like one of the challenge for us is that we are trying to be super cash efficient, right? So those times of growth of any cost are over and because our structure, our legal structure of tomorrow is also a bit different, right? We try to be super cash efficient. So I’m not going to expand like crazy an offer service worldwide where I know quality, in theory I could, but we know the quality is going to be bad.

So that’s why we don’t do that, right? But obviously with more money, this is possible. I just assemble a local team. We’ll have like a, a 24 seven MedVacJet available and that’s it, like it’s pretty much doable.

 [00:32:39] Jianggan


 [00:32:40] Sabrina

Think that’s a very, very heavy topic, right? There’s a lot of, there’s a lot of what ifs and

 [00:32:45] Jianggan

A lot of I think lots of deep thinking, right? Yeah. And lots of deep human human issues, which which we don’t usually talk about when we talk about e commerce, for example.

 [00:32:53] Sabrina

I think it’s very, very different from everything we’ve talked about on the podcast before, right?

 [00:32:58] Fernando

I know. So that’s, that’s exactly the reason why I decided to join this project.

Because, like, Deep Tech, it’s so, you know, like, moonshot project that, like, some people need to work with it, right? In order to, to make this change, to happen, right? So someone needs to be the pioneers. In order to make a specifically emerging technology to push forward, right? You can talk about AI or you can talk about any other biotech product.

But someone needs to do it, right? And that’s why I found it particularly so interesting. It’s just because It’s so unique and we are basically building each industry from scratch in Europe. That’s why it make it so fascinating to talk about.

 [00:33:36] Sabrina

Yeah, it’s a very interesting topic, but maybe something that might be a little more relatable to our audience. So Fernando, you used to work at Rocket Internet with Jianggan, right?

 [00:33:46] Fernando


 [00:33:47] Sabrina

And you also work at Easy Taxi in both Brazil and Africa. And you also co founded CarZar, which was an online C2B marketplace. for secondhand car markets in South Africa. So you’ve had a lot of experience in the tech scene, e commerce secondhand car market. You also work at a fashion tech platform. So maybe you could share a little bit about your experiences back then versus what you’re doing now. What are the differences?

[00:34:14] Fernando

Ooh, they’re massive. So as I was mentioning to before, so Rocket is for me was basically a second MBA, right? It was just a funny story.

Like when I, when I was interviewed at Rocket, basically I was intervened at the same time for four or five different companies. And the first company that makes you an offer and the other ones could not make an offer afterwards. And it was very interesting because I was interviewing Easy Taxi steward in the beginning and they, I, they, they offered me the job like immediately.

And I have no clue what Easy Taxi was really about. And the next day I was flying to another capital in Brazil to launch Easy Taxi there. I was in the company for less than 24 hours. Right. So it was a bit crazy. And so it was a really interesting experience in the sense that you, you, it’s about execution and you need to execute and, and adapt and move faster.

And if you, if you commit a mistake, you need to fix it fast and grow, grow, grow, grow, grow like crazy. Right. So I remember at the time in Brazil, we were opening, I don’t know, my God was. You’re opening like 40 cities in nine months. So we were like going crazy and going to a city and hiring a city manager and then training the guy and then, you know, onboarding taxi drivers, then generate demand and doing some marketing campaigns there on the streets and like, and all of that very crazy, super fast that they moved to another, another city, another market, right?

So this is completely different. And then you need to grow and grow, grow, grow, grow, grow, grow, grow And sometimes I also believe that this pursuit of growth at any cost, we end up committing a lot of mistakes that were avoidable at Easy Taxi, in my opinion. And also even on my previous startups as well at Carza we were working in, you know, in this model where we’re buying cars from private individuals and reselling to dealerships, but I don’t, I like the model, I think it was very interesting.

But I didn’t have car experience, right? So I didn’t come from car background. And suddenly our investors said, no, you need to buy cars, buy cars, buy cars. And the first two cars we bought, that’s interesting thing about like the VCs of this period, right? The first two cars we bought, they were like completely piece of crap.

And I tried to sell those cars to dealers. The dealers are looking at me, are trying to scam me, right? So that’s, that’s the problem when you’re trying to grow too fast. And, and, and suddenly you don’t have time to understand your market, understand your customer. I think that this is probably changing now compared to the time where you need to execute at any cost and where you have no clue what you were doing.

I think now it’s because like everyone’s is more aware of cost of capital. You need to, you know, before deploy and start burning one like crazy, you need to understand exactly what you’re going to do and increase your chances of success that way, right? And compared to deep tech, deep tech is even a different world because.

Growth, obviously growth in terms of market is interesting and will be welcomed, but it’s not necessarily depending on the project, the main goal of it, right? So your goal is to make progress in some specific field that could pay off a lot, right? So investors that put money in deep tech. They know that it’s a bet, right?

A much riskier bet than putting in, let’s say, I don’t know, I’m going to launch here a new accounting service for bakeries, right? So there’s a, the difference there is that There is already a market, there is already a competitor. Let’s assume that I wanted to launch another competitor for Temu or AliExpress in Southeast Asia, right?

So I already know that I need to find suppliers in China. I need to deploy these products in, I need to find distribution. I need to create marketing teams for local markets. And there’s already people did this before, right? So you kind of copy what they’re doing or trying to do better and change to try to position yourself differently in our case is different because we are trying to do something that no one ever did before or, or failed to do.

And at the same time, you’re trying to build awareness of the, of the people about this topic, that you could do that and. And actually open the landscape of much further possibilities, right? So let’s assume, for instance, if humankind wants to become an interplanetary species, we need to live longer.

It’s a matter, it’s just like, it’s a matter of survival for species as well, right? So you need to, to be able to live longer, right? So unless we figure out how to bend space and time, still to go from, from here to another planet, it takes, I don’t know how many, some places, I don’t know, hundreds of years, right?

So it’s still it’s a very, very long distances and you need to be able to survive to those trips, right? And that’s why we believe that this project makes a lot of sense. And so in terms of main difference is that you went from this. Growth then later on profit driven types of investments where you need to prove your business model because you need to, you know, go IPO or go go you know, go big or go home fast because VCs they operate in a way that they need to pay back their LPs after XYZ time.

To a model where investors, they are all that’s one of the reasons why we also don’t work with VCs, not necessarily because we don’t want to, but because our legal structure doesn’t allow them to invest. Right. Because we, our company is, we already say to everyone, we’re not going to sell it. Right.

So we are very, pretty much mission driven. And if obviously one day you do IPO and obviously. You could have, you know, like dividends out of profits, et cetera. But that’s not the main purpose of the main purpose is that how can we develop us to this technology further? And this is true for a majority of people that work with deep tech.

The investors, normally they are angels or high net worth individuals or family office that they have very long term investment views. And they believe that, okay, cool. If this really works. Amazing. It’s gonna have like a general impact in the world, or at least a majority of the people that invest in us are members.

Or at least they really, they’re sign up for it. Or investors are sign up for it. If they can, they, they’re sign up and because they really believe in it. Okay, cool. I want a better future. I want to, you know, like a plan B in case longevity technology doesn’t catch up where I’m, I’m alive and I want past this technology to be better as well Down the line.

And I think I didn’t answer your question, Jianggan, related to people that are cryopreserved today or with previous technologies. So, one of the things that we did as well, in partnership with other people that work in cryobiology, etc., is to map these problems, right? What needs to be done to, you know, to be able to reanimate people that were already cryopreserved with previous technologies.

And this is actually one of the things that we’re also working on, right? So not now, but like, there are some other projects going on. This would never be one company. It’s going to be a multidisciplinary action with different organizations, different individuals solving different problems, right? But it’s happening.

It’s been, I think the most important things that the problems are mapped. It’s now it’s a matter of as we can, you know, make it bigger and bring more awareness and bring more capital into this field, you can start to fund more projects that are going to be, you know, solving these problems.

 [00:41:14] Jianggan

I do remember back , in the rocket internet days and what investors or what people, what, I don’t know, how do you fall from Berlin or always telling you that, okay, you should have done it yesterday, yesterday. I mean, the timeline we heard the most was yesterday, and now you’re doing something called tomorrow, which is obviously, I mean, I don’t know, I mean, the average makes it today, but actually, one just small question, I mean how many people actually cryopreserved today, or is that the state secret of Switzerland, or actually does the government care?

 [00:41:44] Fernando

No, no, no, it’s not a secret at all. So. In the world right now there are around 300 people cryopreserved, like actually inside like cryogenic doers. In Switzerland, right now we have four people and one cat, one Korean cat. One cat that came from Southeast Asia.

 [00:42:04] Sabrina

Did someone pay for the cat?

 [00:42:07] Fernando

You would be amazed how much people love their pets, my friend.

 [00:42:09] Jianggan

I’m just curious. I mean, what’s the price for a cat? Is it the same price as a human or is it slightly different?

 [00:42:15] Fernando

No, no, no. It’s all a matter of how much space it takes inside a doer, right? Because in the end The cost is more about how much liquid nitrogen is required to keep that animal preserved. So that’s why it’s just like it’s different from preserve a Chihuahua than preserve, I don’t know, like a Great Dane as a dog, for instance, like the massive difference in that case. For cats, or pets in general, we only do it obviously if the person’s a member.

Okay. And, Yeah, of course, because like imagine you’re going to preserve your pets, but then what’s the point? Like your animal is going to wake up in the future, but like you’re not there. So what’s the purpose? The cat is going to be so confused when it’s awake. Yeah, exactly. And in this particular case, this person is a member of ours.

He lives in Korea, but like he’s European, but he’s in Korea just for a few years, not like long term. That’s why we’re okay with it. I think, I think the cost depends, but in his case, I think it was around 20, 000 euros or something.

And he sent the pet to, to Switzerland from Korea. We explained to him what he had to do and the vets there help him. They put the animal the right way, dry ice, right packaging and DHL flew the cat to Switzerland, DHL or whatever the delivery company, it could be DHL because it’s just easier, but not trying to do any sponsoring.

 [00:43:36] Jianggan

But, I mean, it’s interesting because for the cats, for the pets I’m sure that if you open that up to. To non members, I think there will be lots of demand. I think lots of people just do not want their pets to disappear forever, right? I mean, there’s strong emotional attachment. We do. And also the cats don’t like to do it for themselves.

 [00:43:54] Fernando

You have cats, don’t you?

 [00:43:56] Jianggan

I have lots of cats. I have five cats.

 [00:43:58] Sabrina

Would you do it?

[00:43:59] Jianggan

I don’t know. I mean, I might call for a vote, depending on how much they meow be on. I mean, I would probably, yeah, anyway.


[00:44:07] Fernando

So it’s sure, but the problem for us, again, our goal is not to be like a pet cryopreservation provider. For us, it’s, this is actually one of the only reasons why we’re doing this is because our members asked, right? So say, Hey, I have pets, like I really want to preserve them as well. It’s like a cool. So we kind of opened this exception. But that’s the reason why we don’t even promote it, right?

Because we just say to internally say, Hey, you can do it. It’s, it’s just like it’s not really part of our mission. Actually, one of the persons that is core there on cryo DAO, the DAO that I mentioned to you guys before. He has a startup for pet cryopreservation in Canada and he’s working on that space, right?

But in our case, like we’re, we are, we are down to do it. If the person’s a member, just because we believe that our members , people see their pets as their loved ones, right? So it’s just almost like. You know to bring a relative so we are we are happy to do it for a member, but we don’t want you to make this. Like a open product because as I said, like what’s the point of you preserve your your cat? And then you don’t want to be there if this cat is reanimated. So what’s the point like you don’t know? The future of what this cat is going to find then that’s why we, we just don’t do it just because also it’s too many distractions, right?

 [00:45:23] Jianggan

I think even that topic we can discuss like forever, right? Because, I mean, it might be that you have a special attachment to a cat. It might be, I don’t know. I mean, decision is so easy and it’s just humor.


[00:45:34] Fernando

Yeah. Don’t, don’t, don’t take me wrong. It’s not that we don’t want to do it because we, we hate animals. And it’s just because we are, we have limited resources. Right. So like right now, if there’s so you have no idea the amount of stuff we could do. And the thing is that because we need to focus, like we try to, to restrict even when sometimes it could be interesting for us on a financial point of view.

Okay, cool. There’s a lot of people that want to preserve their pets and they will be down to pay a lot of money for it. But for us, as I said, it’s a distraction in the end, because right now, at this point, this does not really help us move forward towards our mission, right? But it doesn’t mean that in the future we’ll not be open to do it, and maybe this will Make people consider that.

Okay, cool. I already cryopreserved my pet. So probably I should do this myself. But right now it’s, it’s something that like for us, it just doesn’t make much of a sense, but maybe in the future.

 [00:46:24] Jianggan

Ah, interesting. Any comments Weihan do you understand better about what you studied, but what you didn’t practice? I mean, I’m not saying that you studied the cryopreservation, but as a, as a life science or bioscience graduate,

 [00:46:38] Wei han

I feel like I’m thinking more about exactly what’s the science behind it. Like how are you, how does technology or like the scientific field have to progress in order for. All of this ambition, all of this mission to actually follow through and make people be able to, let’s say, experience life in the future. So, I think it’s a very intriguing thought, that it’s running across my mind right now. So, I feel like if you have any more updates with regards to the medical or the scientific side, I would be very interested to know more about it.

 [00:47:13] Fernando

No, for sure. So as I said, one of the biggest challenge that we have is toxicity, right? So how can you create a cryoprotective agent that’s as not toxic to human cells? This is actually a project we are funding. And there wasn’t any significant let’s say technological developments on this particular aspect of cryobiology, which is cryoprotective agents in the last 20 years, right?

So we started funding this because, like, no one is doing it, and we believe that this is one of the first steps of how can you, you know, start with hormone preservation. And like in the case of the guys from University of Minnesota the reason why it worked for them, the toxicity part is because a rat’s kidney is like this, right? So you can like easily perfuse it super fast and you can, you know, cool down fast as well to avoid you know. The cells to metabolize the cryoprotective agent. But this is just one of the aspects. If you want, later on, I can send to you like a roadmap that we have. Actually, we’re still building more and more technical challenge that you need to overcome in order to first reanimate individuals that were cryopreserved with the past technology.

And what can we do to improve technology on biostats today so we can, you know, safely cryopreserve an individual and reanimate in the future. Yeah, as I said, like this is a massive topic. We could be spending hours talking about science behind it, like every single element that it could do to make it work. Right. So there’s a lot of things there. So that’s why there’s always going to have topics to talk about in the future. Funny enough, just to tell you. This is the only company I ever worked with where we have constant PR outbound means that we don’t do PR. We don’t look for PR, but you’re all the time, you know, journalists contacting us because they, they saw somewhere and they want to write a story about it just because it’s interesting history. It’s interesting, right?

 [00:49:04] Jianggan

Yeah, I think, I think there’s also, there’s also the, the latest additional Bloomberg business week is called a longevity issue. And I have a copy at home, which I just acquired last week. I haven’t got time to read through it. But it is a topic which touches everybody, right? I mean, especially in this uncertain world, as you mentioned, that people are mission driven, et cetera, and lots of people are optimistic and they want to see how the future is like.

What’s your plan for tomorrow? I mean, not tomorrow, tomorrow, but the company tomorrow, I mean, this year. And it’s just like people are curious, right? But many people don’t know about this. I mean, how do people keep updated about industry if they want to?

 [00:49:40] Fernando

Okay. So our plans for 2024, we are going to launch in the U S we’re going to start first covering California, most likely. The area but the whole California, but we’re going to be aiming more like the area, LA. One of the reasons, because we have people interested from the U S and we, as I said, like everything that’s happening in longevity fuels is happening in the United States mostly, and also a bit here in Europe as well. But a lot of investments happen in us in that sense. So that’s one of the reasons why we’re going to launch operations in the country.

We’re also in the way to, to look for like a CMO. So. The last few years I’ve been running marketing myself, but I’m not a marketer, right? So I’m an ops person. And I think I reached my limit of what else can I come up with. And we feel like this is it’s time to start bringing more like senior specialized people to start improving our messaging and, you know, like helping us communicate the better the topic.

AnD I think that this is most likely the most important plans we have to do is continue to grow, continue to, to offer, well, we’re trying to build on as well, like local teams in some of our countries to, to improve speed of response. Right now we have teams in Berlin, Amsterdam and in Switzerland near Zurich. We also wants to go more to Spain, France, et cetera. Yeah, I think this is pretty much it and continue to, to invest in research. As I said, I. Our plans are not super, ah, you know, we need to grow to 300 multiple cities and go like crazy. Our goal is to be consistent in what we’re doing and, you know, continue to grow our user, our members base for sure. And continue to improve the procedures and. Provide like a good service in parallel while we’re pushing our mission forward. I’m sorry, I think I missed your other questions.

 [00:51:25] Jianggan

Yeah its, fine. I mean, I think just come to Asia more often. I think there are people here who are interested and who are. I just have people around me who feel that they don’t have enough time to do whatever they want to do in their life.

 [00:51:37] Fernando

But it’s, super common, like and we, we do want it. So that’s one of the as I said, like we do have investors from Asia. And they do want us to be there. And now, actually, one of the reasons we are going to start a new round this year as well. We’re not going to be able to global expansion yet, but maybe if we have someone that says, You know what, I’m funding, I want you guys to be here, we’ll go. It’s only for us, it’s a matter of Being cash efficient and cash responsible, right?

I’m not going to burn money to just start a new market where I’m barely able to you know, like operate in one specific market. Right. So yes, if there is enough funding, we are super happy to do, you’re super happy to talk to anyone interested in the topic that would like to, to, to know more. And yeah, sure. Maybe I send out your cats as well.

 [00:52:25] Jianggan

Let’s see over the course of this year, whether we can do something to help you. Maybe Sabrina, you can organize offline seminar with the tech billionaires here, but that’d be very interesting. I think I think there’ll be lots of topics.

 [00:52:37] Fernando

And to know more at that, I’m sorry, because it was answering the other question. You can sign up to our newsletter, right? So tomorrow at bio, slash insight, we also have a type of journal where you can set up where we talk about this topic a lot. We there is also a discord channel called the Christ sphere. We don’t own this channel. It’s just a lot of people interested in the topic. There’s like hundreds of people signed up for cryopreservation or the occult procurers as well, that are just interested in the topic. So people chat a lot about the topic there. There is the cryonics Reddit group as well, where people can know what’s going on people post stuff there all the time as well. I think that join our mailing list, we’re always sending Cousteau we’re doing video, we always do a lot of videos as well. So we have our YouTube channel. So you go to just look for tomorrow bio, in the YouTube, you’re going to see a lot of content that we’ll be producing the video because as I said, it’s a complex topic. So we cannot just do like a well, you know, Instagram post, just people are not going to get it right. So it didn’t need any more information here.

 [00:53:42] Jianggan 

And yeah, we can make sure all these links are in the show notes for this one. My very last question your opinion, how likely are we live in a computer simulation?

 [00:53:53] Fernando

Are we right now live in a computer simulation?

 [00: 53:56] Jianggan 

No. I mean, this is what Elon Musk believes, right? I mean, what what is it like to be in a computer simulation?

[00:54:02] Fernando

Oh,interesting question. I think I don’t think it’s little I think that our whole experience is a simulation if you think about it, right. So the role that you experience right now is your brain like a elucidating like signals? If there’s a computer based AND and OR maybe what we understand is a computer. There’s there’s a chance of it I don’t think I don’t believe why not right? Like your whole experience is is purely like our brain hallucinating everything so why not? I think there is there a fair fair chance that we are leaving in some type of simulation with Sabina Do you think living in a simulation? Yeah. I love glitches that

 [00:54:50] Jianggan 

we have says that there are lots of glitches in her life can’t be explained. I think we’re gonna be too far but

 [00:54:59] Fernando

no, you have no if you wanted to debate about the nature of consciousness, man, you’re gonna be here for four hours like we have like

 [00:55:13] Jianggan 

you go to a monastery you spend like a Walmart talking about it. I mean, with a group of people and I think we’re still not be able to reach a conclusion but, but we’ll be speaking for an hour Our and and thank you very much for your time super fascinating. Yeah

 [00:55:26] Fernando

guys, thank you so much. It was really cool to talk to you and Yeah, happy to be here again. Okay, so we have a good day.

 [00:55:33] Sabrina 

Hope you guys have enjoyed today’s episode so do you like our podcast and follow us on Spotify Apple podcasts are your preferred podcast platform now to stay up to date on the latest happenings on trends in tech, new retail and the broader digital economy. Thank you and goodbye


Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].