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Report: Digital Health VC Funding Surges to Record $4.9 Billion in 2018

July 18, 2018
by Heather Landi
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Global venture capital funding for digital health companies in the first half of 2018 was 22 percent higher year-over-year (YoY) with a record $4.9 billion raised in 383 deals compared to the $4 billion in 359 deals in the same time period last year, according to Mercom Capital Group’s latest report.

Mercom Capital Group, an Austin, Texas-based global communications and research firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the digital health sector for the second quarter (Q2) and first half (1H) of 2018. According to the firm’s analysis, digital health venture capital funding is well on pace to surpass 2017’s all-time VC high of $7.2 billion.

In the second quarter of 2018, VC funding held strong at $2.4 billion in 196 deals following the $2.5 billion raised in 187 deals in Q1 2018. Digital health companies have now received $30.6 billion in the 3,833 venture capital funding deals Mercom has tracked since 2010, the report states.

Total corporate funding in digital health companies—including VC, debt, and public market financing—also set a new record at $4.4 billion in the second quarter of 2018 compared to $3 billion in the first quarter of 2018. There was close to $2 billion in IPO and pre-IPO public market financing activity by Chinese companies in the first half of this year, according to the Mercom Capital Group report.

“Digital health continues to grow at a record pace and is well on its way to smashing 2017’s record of $7.2 billion in VC funding.” Raj Prabhu, CEO and co-founder of Mercom Capital Group, said in a statement. “The space is maturing and is beginning to get the regulatory attention it deserves. Simultaneously, the tech giants are boosting digital health in a big way. M&A activity was also up, and overall, it was a very robust first half of 2018 for digital health companies.” 

Healthcare practice-centric companies received 29 percent of the funding in Q2 2018, raising $702 million in 58 deals compared to $1.7 billion in 74 deals in Q1 2018. Consumer-centric companies accounted for 71 percent of the funding in Q2 2018, raising $1.7 billion in 138 deals compared to $801 million in 113 deals in Q1 2018. 

The top funded areas in 2018, so far, are: data analytics with $911 million, telemedicine with $701 million, clinical decision support with $582 million, mHealth apps with $535 million, wearables for $308 million, mobile wireless with $272 million, and wellness with $201 million.

Drilling down into the second quarter of 2018, the top funded categories were: telemedicine companies with $523 million, mHealth apps with $288 million, data analytics for $232 million, wearables with $215 million, mobile wireless for $180 million, and wellness with $161 million. There were 49 early stage deals in Q2 2018, including six accelerator and incubator deals. 

The report also highlights the top venture capital deals in 2018 so far: $291 million raised by American Well; $240 million raised by Heartflow; $200 million raised by Helix; $200 million raised by SomaLogic; $146 million raised by PointClickCare; $110 million raised by Collective Health; $105 million raised by Livongo Health; $100 million raised by DXY (Ting Ting Group); and $80 million raised by Tempus.

A total of 868 investors participated in digital health funding deals in the first half of 2018. Twenty-two different countries recorded digital health VC funding deals in Q2 2018. 

Looking at digital health M&A transactions in 2018, so far, there were a total of 116 deals, compared to 90 in the first half of 2017. M&A activity in the second quarter of 2018 was also up with 68 M&A transactions (13 disclosed) compared to the 48 M&A transactions (13 disclosed) in Q1 2018, according to the report.

Prominent M&A transactions in the first half of 2018 included: the acquisition of LifeScan for $2.1 billion by Platinum Equity; Flatiron Health acquired by Roche for $1.9 billion; Inovalon’s acquisition of ABILITY Network for $1.2 billion; Veritas Capital acquired General Electric’s (GE) Healthcare IT division for $1 billion; and the acquisition of Intermedix by R1 RCM for $460 million.

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