PE investments grow threefold in health tech

Investments in health care technology in the first 11 months of 2017 have seen close to three-fold growth, worth $258 million in 24 deals, as against $89 million in 33 deals during the comparable period last year.

In terms of value health technology firms have surpassed the full-year investments of $115 million in the segment, while 2016 saw 36 investments, according to data from research firm Venture Intelligence.

The sector is seeing a growth in investment as investors are putting in money, showing confidence in the technologies and opportunity in the market, said an industry expert.

The segment witnessed some of the major investments compared to 2016, including a $65-million investment by Carlyle into medical billing revenue cycle management firm Visionary RCM in November, and a $55-million investment by Sequoia Capital India, Matrix Partners India, Google Capital, Recruit Strategic Partners, Chinese investor Tencent and Thrive Capital in Practo, which helps connect patients with doctors based on requirements.

Sequoia Capital India and others, in April, invested about $20 million in HealthEngine, another online platform for patients to fine, book and manage medical appointments.

Last year, the top deals in the segment included Sequoia Capital India, Maveric Capital, Omidyar Network and HBM Healthcare Investments investing around $16 million in online pharmacy 1mg based in Gurugram, and PharmEasy, another online pharmacy player. In-home healthcare companies which are also using technology for services, such as Portea Medical, has also raised funds during the year.

The surge in investments in the sector is in line with the growing interest of private equity investors in health care as a whole. The investments into the healthcare segment has grown to $1.22 billion till November end, 2017, in 45 deals as compared to $1.05 billion in 54 deals during the same period of last year. The total investments into the sector during 2016, on a full year basis, was around $1.20 billion, which is lesser than the investments till November, in 2017, in 63 deals.

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