Thanks to big $100 million-plus deals from digital health companies like Oscar, Flatiron Health and Jawbone, the amount of venture capital flowing into digital health during the first three months of the year puts 2016 on track to be a record year for funding. Digital health companies raised slightly more than $2 billion in Q1, according to CB Insights. Because of different scopes and definitions of digital health, seed investor Rock Health pegged the number at around $980 million while Startup Health tracked about $1.8 billion during the period.
One of the reasons Rock Health's overall figure is so much lower than CB Insights' and Startup Health's is that Rock does not consider Oscar Health to be a digital health startup since it is a health insurance provider.
CB Insights noted that the Q1 data included a greater percentage of seed and angel deals when compared to the mix of deals in years past. The research firm points to the increasing number of health-focused startup accelerators as the cause of the spike in seed deals. Notably, Rock Health's data does not include investments less than $2 million, which means it excludes funding from a startup accelerator. Later stage deals are not showing an increase in number as some have predicted would occur as early digital health startups mature. Apart from seed and angel rounds, the mix of funding deals by stage has remained stable when compared to 2015 metrics.