- The 150 digital health startups deemed the most promising by market intelligence firm CB Insights have raised more than $20 billion in total funding across over 600 deals from more than 900 investors, according to annual rankings released Thursday.
- U.K. surgical robotics company CMR Surgical made the list of 12 "unicorns," or companies valued at more than $1 billion. Smaller robotic surgery player Vicarious Surgical, which pairs miniaturized robotics with virtual reality and won a breakthrough device designation from FDA late last year, was included in the broader list of 150.
- Twenty-four companies featured this year, or 16% of the list, focus on screening and diagnostics, including direct-to-consumer testing, medical imaging and digital pathology. Those companies include early cancer detection startups such as Freenome, Grail and Thrive Earlier Detection, as well as AI-supported imaging platform makers Subtle Medical, Zebra Medical Imaging, and Viz.ai, which has partnered with Medtronic.
CB Insights researchers looked at nearly 8,000 digital health startups for the yearly analysis, choosing 150 of what they deem most promising companies based on factors such as patent activity, competitive landscape and tech novelty. Startups based in the U.S. dominated this year's list, accounting for 77% of the companies from 18 different countries. Medtech selections also came from Israel, the U.K., China, South Korea and India, to name a few.
Digital therapeutics makers Pear Therapeutics, Akili Interactive Labs, Kaia Health and Happify Health all made the list of 150. The group of nine companies classified in the medical devices and equipment category included diabetes management device developer Bigfoot Biomedical, as well as fertility and pregnancy testing and remote monitoring tech providers Modern Fertility and Nuvo.
Medical device, equipment, and screening & diagnostics startups included in the 2020 CB Insights list
|Company||Offering||Total disclosed funding||Select investors|
|Bigfoot Biomedical||Insulin delivery||$163M||Cormorant Asset Mgmt., Janus Henderson Investors, JDRF T1D Fund, Quadrant Capital Adv., Senvest Cap.|
|Caption Health||AI-assisted ultrasound acquisition||$70M||Khosla Ventures, Data Collective, Atlantic Bridge Cap., 11.2 Capital, National Science Foundation|
|ChromaCode||Signal processing to improve molecular testing||$52M||New Enterprise Associates, Domain Associates, Northpond Ventures, Windham Venture Partners, Okapi Venture Cap.|
|CMR Surgical||Robotic surgery||$386M||Cambridge Innovation Cap., Escala Cap., LGT Cap. Partners, Watrium, ABB Tech. Ventures|
|Cue Health||Portable testing||$166M||Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Foresite Cap., Decheng Cap., Section 32, Madrone Cap. Partners|
|Element Science||Patch-based wearable cardioverter defibrillator||$193M||Google Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners, Third Rock Ventures, Invus Group, Deerfield Mgmt.|
|Freenome||Early cancer detection||$239M||Andreessen Horowitz, T. Rowe Price, Google Ventures, Founders Fund, Data Collective|
|Grail||Early cancer detection||$2.005B||ARCH Venture Partners, Tencent Holdings, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Hillhouse Cap. Mgmt., Sequoia Cap. China|
|Healthy.io||Smartphone urinalysis||$78M||JOY Cap., Samsung NEXT, Aleph, Corner Ventures, Ansonia Holdings Singapore|
|icometrix||Imaging AI for neurological disorders||$20M||Optum Ventures, Capricorn Partners, Forestay Cap., KU Leuven|
|Infervision||AI to help diagnose cancer||$73M||Sequoia Cap. China, Qiming Venture Partners, Genesis Cap., Xiang He Cap., CDH Investments|
|Karius||NGS tests for infectious disease||$240M||SoftBank Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Tencent Holdings, Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst|
|LetsGetChecked||DTC diagnostic testing kits||$113M||Qiming Venture Partners, Deerfield Mgmt., Optum Ventures, Illumina Ventures, Transformation Cap.|
|Lunit||Developing novel imaging biomarkers||$49M||NH Investment & Securities, Legend Cap., Softbank Ventures Asia, FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, InterVest|
|Mammoth Biosciences||CRISPR tech for diagnostic testing||$89M||Mayfield Fund, 8VC, Decheng Cap., NFX, National Institutes of Health|
|Modern Fertility||At-home fertility hormone test||$22M||Y Combinator, Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, Forerunner Ventures, First Round Cap.|
|Nuvo||Remote monitoring for pregnancy||$43M||Shareholder Value Mgmt.|
|Onera||Sleep diagnostics||$13M||BOM Brabant Ventures, imec.xpand, EIC Accelerator, Eurostars Programme|
|Paige.AI||Digital pathology||$95M||Goldman Sachs, Breyer Cap., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Kenan Turnacioglu, HealthCare Ventures|
|PathAI||Evolving pathology for disease diagnosis||$90M||General Catalyst, General Atlantic, 8VC, Refactor Cap., Pillar|
|Perspectum||Digital technologies to help treat liver disease||$36M||The Blue Venture Fund, Oxford Sciences Innovation, University of Oxford, HealthQuest Cap., Puhua Cap.|
|Qure.ai||AI to interpret radiological images||$16M||Sequoia Cap. India, MassMutual Ventures|
|Subtle Medical||Deep learning-enhanced medical imaging||$8M||Bessemer Venture Partners, Data Collective, Baidu Ventures, ZhenFund|
|Thrive Earlier Detection||Early cancer detection||$367M||T. Rowe Price, Invus Group, Casdin Capital, Bain Capital, Perceptive Advisors|
|Vicarious Surgical||Surgical robotics and virtual reality||$44M||Khosla Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, Marc Benioff, E15VC|
|Viz.ai||AI to identify strokes||$79M||Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greenoaks Cap. Mgmt., Threshold Ventures, CRV|
|Winterlight Labs||Speech-based cognitive assessment using AI||$5M||Grey Sky Venture Partners, Hikma Ventures, First Star Ventures, Pacific Health Ventures, Amplify Cap.|
|Zebra Medical Vision||AI-assisted medical imaging||$50M||Khosla Ventures, OurCrowd, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Dolby Family Ventures, Marc Benioff|
Source: CB Insights
The coronavirus pandemic led to a rapid adoption of telehealth in particular, though other remote care players are stepping up with more specialized services.
Sixty-two startups, or 41% of the list, sell telehealth services, including platforms such as Doctor on Demand, Heartbeat Health and Livi. Remote monitoring and diagnostics platforms like Oura and Element Science and therapy and coaching apps like Omada Health and Virta Health also made the list.
Some startups are forming partnerships with key industry players, including Happify, whose digital therapeutics target mental health needs. It has partnerships with the American Heart Association, Sanofi and Cigna. Private health insurance startup Bright Health has partnered with Mount Sinai Health System and Mercy Health, according to the report.
Beyond telehealth, another leading category this year is clinical intelligence and enablement. CB Insights picked 26 of those companies, which make tools to help providers and payers make clinical decisions to deliver care more efficiently. These include platforms such as Twistle and Wellth, which connect patients and providers, and Quartet Health, which coordinates mental health care.
In the first quarter of 2020, mental health startups raised a record $575 million in equity funding, according to the report. Ten companies on this year's list provide mental and behavioral health services, including teletherapy platforms like Lyra Health and Meru Health and addiction management platforms like Axial Healthcare and CureApp.
Seventeen of the 150 digital health companies on last year's list have remained or since became unicorns, while two went public and two were acquired.