Venture Capital Investments Pour Into Healthcare Companies
COVID-19 led to a rush in funding for companies and tech startups working to make healthcare more affordable and accessible.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vast inequalities in the U.S. healthcare system—from poor access to care to inefficient delivery models—with traditionally underserved communities hit especially hard.
In response, dozens of healthcare companies and tech startups have spent the past year working on solutions to help solve these long-standing issues. And venture capital investments have helped fuel much of the innovation.
In New York City alone, 123 companies raised $5.2 billion in healthcare funding in the first half of 2021, according to the New York Healthcare Innovation Midyear Report. (J.P. Morgan is a co-sponsor of the report.) The first two quarters of 2021 are the largest on record in New York healthcare funding. To put that in perspective: Last year saw a total $3.6 billion in funding—an amount already surpassed in the first half of 2021.
Smart Social Investing
New York is far from alone. Companies around the world are seeing an increase in healthcare funding. In the first seven months of 2021, global healthcare venture funding has recorded 3,086 deals and $63.5 billion invested, according to Crunchbase. Of those deals, 186 are considered to be “supergiant deals”—defined as $100 million or more.
Given the size of the market—both geographically and financially—the trend is likely to continue.
For venture capitalists, the opportunities are two-fold. The rapidly growing sector provides plenty of investment possibilities in a range of healthcare companies—from telemedicine to data management to online pharmacy platforms and beyond. But it also allows venture capitalists a chance to make a sizable social impact by making healthcare more accessible and affordable for millions of Americans.
And while technology can play a huge role in improving healthcare, it can’t do it alone.
High-tech solutions are often paired with traditional in-person outreach programs. These digital-analog combinations use technology to coordinate services; healthcare professionals then deliver the care directly to people’s homes. Venture capitalists can help bridge the so-called “last mile” in healthcare by funding companies that include a person-to-person connection.
Changes are Here to Stay
The pandemic accelerated technology in countless ways. Today, people are using curbside pickup and food delivery apps in numbers unimaginable 18 months ago.
The same holds true in healthcare. Telehealth services and virtual visits have skyrocketed since the COVID-19 outbreak, and most people have been pleased with the experience. More than three-fourths (78%) of consumers want contactless healthcare options to remain, according to InstaMed’s 2021 “Trends in Healthcare Payments” report.
Will we completely abandon in-person visits for routine healthcare in the future? Of course not. But just as some office work may shift to a hybrid work-from-home model, healthcare will likely see a mixture of in-person and remote services moving forward.
The healthcare industry is undergoing rapid change. At J.P. Morgan, we have experience in the sector, and we can help investors and innovative healthcare companies navigate the ever-shifting healthcare landscape.
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