Global digital health venture capital funding up 42 per cent at $7.2 billion


NEW DELHI: Venture capital (VC) funding, via private equity as well as corporate, jumped 42 per cent to a record USD 7.2 billion in the digital health sector globally last year through 778 deals, says a report. 

According to Mercom Capital Group, the sector saw USD 5.1 billion in 622 deals in 2016. 

The total corporate funding for Healthcare IT companies - including debt and public market financing - climbed to USD 8.2 billion in 2017, 47 per cent increase from the USD 5.6 billion raised in 2016. 

Since 2010, the digital health sector has accumulated USD 26 billion in VC funding in 3,450 deals and almost USD 8.6 billion in debt and public market financing (including IPOs), taking the total to USD 34.3 billion. 

"Artificial intelligence and Data Analytics companies had a breakout year with over a billion dollars raised," Mercom Capital Group CEO and Co-Founder Raj Prabhu said. 

M&A activity, on the other hand, has been declining slightly over the last few years, he said, adding that investors do not want to miss out on the sheer size and potential of this growing market, but the exit path for many companies remains elusive. 

Notwithstanding a buoyant stock market, companies did not go public. "For the first time in years we did not see any companies issue an IPO in all of 2017," Prabhu noted. 

The top funded areas in 2017 include Data Analytics with USD 1.1 billion, mHealth Apps with USD 759 million, Patient Engagement Solutions with USD 708 million, Telemedicine with USD 624 million, Appointment Booking with USD 516 million, and Clinical Decision Support with USD 514 million.