CB Insights has named OrbiMed, RA Capital and Cormorant Asset Management as the three most active investors in healthcare in the first quarter.
OrbiMed topped the list in part because of its activity in the medtech industry, where it put money into companies including AnchorDx, Noctrix Health and Adicon.
- The overall list, which builds on an April report describing record investment in the quarter, is dominated by venture capitalist groups that primarily invest in drug development startups.
CB Insights first reported data on the level of healthcare investment activity in the first quarter last month. The report revealed investors pumped a record $31.6 billion into healthcare over the first three months of 2021, although the amount committed to medical device companies fell 23% from the high hit in the final quarter of last year.
At $4.6 billion, medical device funding was down on the previous two quarters and flat compared to the second quarter of 2020. Yet, by pre-pandemic standards $4.6 billion is a big quarter. The device industry went 18 months without a $4 billion-plus quarter from late 2018 to early 2020.
The medical device industry raised $4.6 billion in the first quarter despite striking fewer deals than at any point over the past three years. At 359, the number of deals was well below the peak of 497 in the third quarter of 2020 and only the third time over the past three years that the industry has inked fewer than 400 funding agreements in a quarter. The next slowest quarter was the first quarter of 2020 with 378 deals.
Funding topped $4 billion despite the drop in deals because of a clutch of large financing rounds in the quarter. CB Insights identified digital pathology and point-of-care testing as the hotspots for big rounds in the quarter, listing $100 million-plus financings at Inflammatix, Paige and Truvian to make its case.
Digital pathology startup Paige received money from Casdin Capital, the tenth most active investor on the CB Insights list, as part of its $100 million Series C financing, but otherwise the big medtech rounds typically featured backers who struck fewer deals in the quarter.
CB Insights also compiled a list of the investors that were most active in the digital health space in the first quarter. Tiger Global, General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures topped the digital health list. Again, many investments made by the most active venture capitalists were outside of medtech, with firms such as healthcare procedure marketplace Carrum Health falling under CB Insights' definition of digital health.
Examples of medtech companies backed by the most active investors include diagnostics company Genalyte, which received $50 million from backers including Khosla, and heart sensor toilet seat developer Casana.