Qualcomm Life acquired by PE firm Francisco Partners, will spin off under new name

The wireless health pioneer will take on the name of its 2015 acquisition Capsule Technologies.
By Jonah Comstock
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Private equity firm Francisco Partners has acquired Qualcomm Life, the Qualcomm subsidiary focused on medical device connectivity. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Qualcomm Life will spin out as a new company under the name Capsule Technologies — the name of a clinical data management company that Qualcomm acquired in 2015. The new Capsule Technologies will continue to use the Capsule and 2net brands for its medical device connectivity offerings.

“FP’s acquisition will help Qualcomm Life (now CapsuleTech) continue to deliver market leading products and services to its world class customer base,” Rick Valencia, former president of Qualcomm Life, said in a statement. Valencia will support CapsuleTech as an advisor as it transitions to a standalone company.

Why it matters

Qualcomm Life has been a major player in building the “pipes” of medical device connectivity since its launch, and the launch of 2net, in 2011. It has always operated with a certain amount of autonomy under the auspices of chipmaker heavyweight Qualcomm.

Supported by acquisitions like Capsule and Healthy Circles, the company has turned that early bet into a significant presence in the world of digital and connected health. Today, Capsule connects medical devices to clinical information systems in over 2,000 hospitals in approximately 40 countries.

What’s the trend

Private equity transactions like this are becoming more common as the digital health space matures, and they aren’t always the final resting place of a company. Aging in place tech company GreatCall was acquired by private equity group GTCR in 2017 and ended up being resold to Best Buy a year later. Health IT security company Imprivata was acquired by Thoma Bravo back in 2016 for more than $540 million.

On the record

“Capsule and 2net will continue to drive increased focus on their respective customers, deliver mission critical solutions and provide exceptional service,” Justin Chen, vice president with Francisco Partners, said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting the talented employees and management team going forward.”

“Francisco Partners’ deep experience in healthcare technology and proven track record in nurturing and growing technology businesses will enable CapsuleTech’s loyal base of employees to continue delivering innovation,” added Duane Nelles, SVP of corporate development at Qualcomm Incorporated. “We look forward to our partnership with the FP team as they grow CapsuleTech as an independent entity.”

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