Mercom: Healthcare IT funding reached $4.6B in 2015

By Aditi Pai

Healthcare IT funding, spread across 574 deals, reached $4.6 billion in 2015, according to Mercom Capital Group. This was a drop from the 2014 total, when Mercom recorded $4.7 billion in 670 deals.

The market intelligence firm said that between 2010 and 2015, healthcare IT funding reached $13.4 billion in 2,050 deals.

Some of the larger rounds that Mercom tracked include China-based Guahao’s $394 million, NantHealth’s $200 million, ZocDoc’s $130 million, and Virgin Pulse’s $92 million.

“After an incredible run from 2010-2014, VC funding into health IT companies leveled off last year,” Mercom Capital Group CEO and Cofounder Raj Prabhu said in a statement. “We are beginning to see a slowdown in early stage deals, a sign the sector is beginning to mature. We are also seeing funding trends shift from practice-focused to consumer-focused technologies and products. Apart from innovative technologies and solutions, business and revenue models are becoming more important.”

Within the healthcare IT sector, mobile health companies raised the most funding, according to Mercom. Funding for mobile health companies reached $1.1 billion with $750 million from health apps and $277 million from wearable and sensor-focused companies. Additionally, telehealth companies raised $468 million, wellness startups raised $386 million, and scheduling and appointment booking companies raised $790 million.

Some 909 investors were active in 2015, up from 732 in 2014. Some of the top investors include New Enterprise Associates, Rock Health, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, and Venrock.

“M&A deal activity was also flat year-over-year but, unlike funding, most of the companies acquired were practice focused as opposed to consumer focused,” Prabhu said.

Merck tracked 219 healthcare IT merger and acquisition deals in 2015, which was on par with the 220 in 2014.
Earlier this week, CB Insights released its 2015 funding numbers for digital health, which were larger than Mercom’s healthcare IT funding total. According to CB Insights, digital health funding reached $5.8 billion in 2015. The research firm explained that this was just a slight increase from its 2014 total, which is in stark contrast to the significant growth from 2013 to 2014. Funding grew from $2.3 billion in 2013 to $5.1 billion in 2014.