2015 was another big year for digital health with venture capital funding of companies surpassing $4.3 billion as of December 8. That’s about the same VC level as 2014, according to Rock Health.
However, the firm—which supports early stage healthcare companies—is skeptical that those levels can be sustained in 2016.
“This year was on pace with 2014, which is pretty incredible since 2014 was the year that everything doubled in terms of funding, deal volume and growth,” says Teresa Wang, strategy manager at Rock Health, regarding the year-over-year results. “Matching 2014 was a great feat in itself, and seeing a continued diversity of investments and investors in the digital health space are all very positive signals.”
Despite the fact that 2014 was a record-breaking year for digital health, 2015 rose to the challenge, bringing in equally impressive results that included a significant increase in the number of later stage funding rounds—late stage deals accounted for slightly more than 25 percent of all deal volume.
In addition, the firm recorded 180 merger and acquisition deals, worth $6 billion in disclosed activity. In fact, M&A activity nearly doubled in volume this year, compared with last year.
Moreover, although 2015 saw a slight decline in the total number of VC deals, the average deal size reached a new high at $15.6 million, which Wang says is consistent with expectations, given the increased number of later stage deals as the industry continues to mature as well as consolidate. She also notes that a major theme of 2015 was an increased focus on the consumerization of healthcare, with consumer engagement and personal health tools/tracking categories alone taking in 23 percent of overall funding.
Looking at 2016, she is optimistic about the growing role of the consumer within healthcare and the potential value of business-to-consumer market opportunities in the digital health space. However, Wang believes that the overall VC levels generated in 2015 are “unsustainable” for next year.
Yet, she remains optimistic that digital health in 2016 can again account for about 7 percent of total venture funding across all industries and sectors, which is a good gauge for success. “How much funding comes into digital health is influenced by the total amount of venture funding available,” Wang acknowledges. “As long as we can stay around 6 to 9 percent range of total funding, it’s a really healthy amount.”
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Health Data Management content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access