Israel’s OTV, a venture capital firm dedicated specifically to digital health, closed a new fund with $170 million. The company also announced its name shift from Olive Tree Ventures to its acronym OTV.
Founded in 2015, over the last five years it has invested in a slew of digital health companies, including TytoCare, Lemonaid Health, Emedgene, Scopio and Donisi Health.
This new announcement also indicated a new shift toward the Asian market. Historically the firm has had physical operations in the U.S., Israel and Canada. The company is now expanding announcing a new office in China and a new head of Asia Pacific, Jose Antonio Urrutia Rivas.
“I am excited to lead OTV’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, which plays a vital role in the global digital health economy,” Rivas said in a statement. “OTV provides a unique connection between West and East, linking portfolio companies to Israel, North America and Asia and enhancing cooperation between these different markets. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the OTV team, whose investment experience in a wide range of fields makes them perfectly placed to develop and implement winning growth strategies for best in class digital health companies."
WHY IT MATTERS
Israel is growing in its digital health investments. According to Startup Health, OTV’s hometown of Tel Aviv saw $207 million and 15 deals in the first three quarters of 2020.
But this wasn’t the only Israeli city to make the international funding hubs list. The Startup Health report recorded $139 million in funds raised in Jerusalem and $125 million raised in Haifa in the first three quarters of the year.
The country’s digital health efforts have attracted major partnerships as well. In 2019 pharma giant AstraZeneca launched an initiative that was aimed at investing in the country’s digital health space.
THE LARGER TREND
Over the last decade digital health specific investors have begun to crop up. One of the first was Rock Health, which in addition to its investing efforts also conducts research. Additionally, Startup Health also focused exclusively on the space.
However, digital-health-specific funds and firms aren’t the only ones interested in the space. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the technology, and investors have taken notice. A recent Rock Health report recorded $9.4 billion in digital health investments from the first three quarters of 2020. That number is already higher than any other year’s total funding.