Healthcare companies have raised over $37.5 billion globally in the first three quarters of 2019 in over 3,409 private venture funding rounds according to a recent CB Insights report. Compared to full year 2018, the report’s projections for funding through the end of 2019 will not surpass 2018’s $54.7 billion of private venture funding. Globally, there are now 37 healthcare unicorns valued at $92.1 billion. Of these healthcare companies valued at over $1 billion, 18 are based in the United States.
Digital health companies now account for 31% of healthcare deals, raising $12.4 billion across 1,052 deals globally. The digital health sector includes companies within the healthcare industry that focus on technology as a key differentiator, according to CB Insights. Within this subsector, the percentage of late-stage financings continues to rise. Through the third quarter of 2019, 19.7% of financing rounds have been Series C or later. Additionally, digital health companies have raised multiple $100 million plus, or “mega rounds.” In the United States, digital health companies have completed eight mega rounds in 2019.
A few healthcare subsectors have seen funding decline. For example, microbiome startups have raised $502 million in private venture capital across 51 deals—this is a 44% decrease compared to the end of the third quarter of 2018. Virtual primary care startups have also seen funding decline globally by almost 60% year-over-year. These companies have raised $889 million across 40 deals within the first nine months of 2019, with $605 million of funding raised in the third quarter alone.
Startups focused on artificial intelligence in healthcare saw a 47% increase in funding year-over-year, raising over $3.1 billion across 261 deals through the end of the third quarter of 2019. While cannabis companies have raised $2.7 billion in private venture capital in 2019, the report notes that publicly traded cannabis stocks have lost market cap due to the vaping crisis, regulatory uncertainty around CBD, as well as legislative developments.