Investments into the online healthcare sector soared in 2020, supercharged by COVID-19. According to the research data analyzed and published by Finaria, the total corporate funding for companies in digital health amounted to $21.6 billion. The amount was more than double the $10.6 billion that flowed into the sector in 2019. It included public market financing, debt and venture capital.
VC funding, including private equity as well as corporate VC, took the lead, contributing $14.8 billion to the total across 637 deals. Compared to the $8.9 billion VC investment made in 2019 across 615 deals, that was a 66% year-over-year (YoY) increase.
The figure set a new record and brought the total VC funding into digital health companies since 2010 to $59 billion, across more than 5,000 deals.
Around 77% of all funding went to companies in the US, which received a total of $11.5 billion in 429 deals. On the other hand, digital health companies in China received $1.1 billion in eight deals. All in all, 38 countries participated in VC funding activity during the year.
Consumer-centric companies took the bulk of VC funding, accounting for $9.6 billion, a figure that was 81% higher than 2019’s. For practice-centric companies, the total funding amounted to $5.3 billion, up by 47% YoY.
$18.5 Billion Teladoc-Livongo Deal Topped Digital Health M&A
Ten categories posted their best year in terms of funding, raising record amounts. Telemedicine was the leading category in terms of VC funding, receiving a total of $4.3 billion, up by 139% from 2019’s $1.8 billion. It was almost equivalent to the next three categories combined. Among the companies that raised funding under the telemedicine category were Carbon Health, Amwell, Binah.ai, MD Live and Eko Health.
Data Analytics followed Telemedicine at a distance, raising $1.8 billion while mHealth apps raised $1.4 billion. Clinical Decision Support raised $1.2 billion, Practice Management Solutions $837 million and Wearable Sensors $815 million.
Other top-funded categories included Wellness, which raised $792 million, Healthcare Booking $765 million and Social Health Networks $500 million.
Digital health M&A transactions also increased in 2020, going up by 9% from 169 deals in 2019 to 184. The biggest deal was the $18.5 billion Teladoc’s acquisition of Livongo Health. It was announced in August 2020 and took place in October 2020. Together, Teladoc and Livongo are estimated to have pro forma revenue of about $1.3 billion for the year 2020.
Blackstone’s $4.7 billion acquisition of Ancestry, which was announced in August 2020 and completed in December 2020, took the second spot. Other noteworthy deals included Philips’ $2.8 billion acquisition of Bio Telemetry, Invitae’s acquisition of ArcherDX for $1.4 billion and WellSky’s $1.35 billion acquisition of CarePort.
2020 was also the best year on record for IPOs, as six companies in the digital health sector raised a cumulative $6.2 billion. JD Health raised $3.5 billion, GoodRX $1.3 billion, Amwell $922 million, Accolade $220 million, NanoX $165 million and MindBeacon $58 million.
Overall, debt and public market funding for companies in digital health soared by 278% YoY. They raised $6.8 billion across 26 deals, compared to $1.8 billion across 20 deals in 2019.
According to Mercom, a lot more companies in the sector could go public in 2021, judging from the 2020 IPO and SPAC boom.
Overall Healthcare Investments Soared by 47% to $51 Billion in 2020
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) echoes similar sentiments, projecting between 15 and 18 IPOs for the sector by mid-2022. Based on a report from the firm, in 2020, digital health companies for the first time surpassed biopharma in the number of deals. There were a total of 570 deals in biopharma. However, investment in digital health was higher, at $24.5 billion according to SVB.
For the overall healthcare industry, the report estimates that investment across the board amounted to $51 billion. In comparison with 2019’s tally, the figure was 47% higher. Venture fundraising during the period rose by 57% to reach $17 billion.
Moreover, with more people struggling with depression and anxiety, alternative care companies raised $5.9 billion during the year. They raised this amount across 66 deals in primary care, 42 in mental health and 15 in platform care.
For digital health companies supporting provider operations, funding totaled $3.7 billion. On the other hand, clinical trial enablement startups raised $2 billion in total. The number of mega rounds ($100 million or more) reported in 2020 tripled from 2019.
SVB projects stable performance from the biopharma sector in 2021, but the figures could be slightly below 2020’s. However, for healthtech, investment is expected to remain strong with virtual and hybrid care models leading the growth and more VC funding for alternative healthcare.