Funding for Private Health Firms Surges Amid Pandemic Shifts

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Funding for private health-care companies jumped to a quarterly high as investors seek innovations in a medical services landscape transformed by the pandemic.

Investors poured $31.6 billion into health firms in the first quarter this year, research firm CB Insights said Tuesday in a report, more than double from a year earlier. The quarter also saw a record 96 mega-round deals of more than $100 million.

Funding for Private Health Firms Surges Amid Pandemic Shifts

Investors are flocking to health as the Covid-19 pandemic spurs adoption of new technologies that fulfill needs for remote care and other pandemic requirements. Funding for private firms has climbed throughout the crisis, reaching new records every quarter since the second of last year.

“There’s just been an increased amount of attention on digital solutions in health care” said Ja Lee, an analyst at New York-based CB Insights. Covid-19 “spotlighted the need for such solutions in the market that previously weren’t as emphasized before.”

The report focused on equity financing for health companies, including convertible notes, seed funding, venture capital, private equity, growth equity, and other investment rounds.

Investors have shown particular interest in telehealth, with support for the sector hitting a record in the first quarter, according to the report. Virta Health, a startup that aims to remotely help people manage diabetes, said Monday it raised $133 million and nearly doubled its valuation from a funding round just five months ago.

Other sectors focused on artificial intelligence, information technology, mental health and women’s health also hit funding records in the first quarter, CB Insights said.

Rock Health, a venture fund focused on digital health, cautioned in a recent report that bursts of investment activity should be examined carefully.

“Stakeholders will need to separate long-term value creation from short-term financial opportunity,” Rock Health said, “and distinguish between individual company hype cycles from overall sector fundamentals and growth.”

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