Top 10 Investors in Digital Health Startups to Review in 2016

The year 2015 was a fantastic one for digital health ventures, with over $4.5 billion in funding pouring into the industry. In fact, more than 1,000 entities made an equity investment in at least one digital health company—an increase of 361 percent since 2010! This trend carries on in 2016, with health tech bringing in 7 percent of total venture funding. Investors can’t seem to get enough of digital health innovation!

It is important for digital health entrepreneurs in 2016 to keep an eye out for firms and accelerators that are active investors in the digital health space. Is your digital health startup looking for funding? If so, here are the top 10 active investors in digital health to look out for if you’re running a venture in 2016:


1. Y Combinator: Described by Fortune as a spawning ground for emerging tech giants, Y Combinator seems to have zeroed in on digital health as the next hottest area of investment. In fact, this leading seed accelerator was ranked as 2015’s top investor in digital health by a CB Insights report.Y Combinator financed more than 10 different digital health startups last year. Among them were Circle Medical, which offers a full medical service; MicroHealth, a mobile health startup that empowers patients with chronic illnesses; and Akido Labs, an API for healthcare systems.


2. Dreamit Ventures: Dreamit Ventures has had a keen eye for health tech all along, with investments in over 22 healthcare startups, according to CrunchBase data. This VC and seed accelerator firm, along with Y Combinator, was the only investor to finance over 10 digital health startups in 2015. These startups included Redox, which creates APIs to connect to legacy EHR systems; CareCierge, a provider of concierge services for the elderly; and Oncora Medical, which is fighting cancer with data.In 2016, Dreamit has earmarked $1 million for investments in healthcare tech. Isn’t this a cause for celebration for digital health startups?


3. GE Ventures: This venture capital arm of corporate giant GE turned its full attention to digital health in 2015, wrapping up the year with 10 health tech deals. Prominent among those were investments in Iora Health, which helps patients manage their health; Caremerge, a provider of web and mobile solutions for seniors; and Apervita, which offers health analytics and data.In fact, GE Ventures was ranked as the top corporate digital health investor in 2015 by both Rock Health and Startup Health.


4. Google Ventures (GV): Google began to make inroads into digital health with Google Glass in 2013. Ever since, this search-engine company has only further solidified its interests in this booming industry. Recently, Google Ventures announced that more than one-third of its investments are in life sciences and care. CEO Bill Maris said,

One Medical Group, 23andMe and TinyRX were among the startups that caught the attention of GV in 2015.


5. Rock Health: Founded in 2010 as the first venture fund dedicated to digital space, Rock Health is a household name in the health tech space. Over the past six years, it has made investments in over 60 digital health startups. Moreover, Rock Health conducts extensive research in the healthcare space, regularly publishing detailed reports and reviews that are widely cited.In 2015, Rock Health funded several digital startups, including Omada Health, Amino, Sano Intelligence, Welkin Health, Doctor on Demand and Collective Health. Your startup could be next!


6. Qualcomm Ventures: The investment arm of Qualcomm Inc., this VC firm was rated the largest corporate investor in digital health in 2014 by Rock Health and StartUp Health.In fact, Qualcomm kick-started 2015 by announcing a partnership with Novartis to launch a $100 million fund to invest in “technologies, products or services that ‘go beyond the pill’ to benefit physicians and patients.”

Qualcomm has previously made several investments in digital startups like Fitbit, Practice Fusion, AliveCor and MediSafe. In 2015, Qualcomm made eight more deals with digital health startups, including Doctor on Demand and Portea Medical.

Khosla Ventures

7. Khosla Ventures: This company was ranked as the second most active VC firm in digital health from 2012 through 2015, with 21 investments in health tech. Prominent among these are investments in Oscar Health Insurance, HealthTap CellScope, io and AliveCor.This VC firm is led by billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, who is known to be vocal on the topic of digital health. Khosla Ventures is always on the lookout for innovative digital health startups. Are you ready to catch their attention?


8. New Enterprise Associates (NEA): The world’s largest venture capital firm, NEA is an active investor in health tech, particularly across biotech, medical devices and healthcare services. In 2015, NEA made significant investments in several digital startups, including Stride Health, Cardionomic, Proteostasis Therapeutics and Collective Health.More recently, NEA and Bessemer Venture Partners led an $80 million funding round for Bright Health, a startup that offers tech-enabled health insurance plans. An active digital health investor, NEA is looking for equally active entrepreneurs.


9. Venrock: Venrock was another prolific investor in health tech in 2015. It made seven digital health investments in Jiff, Aledade, Stride Health, Doctor on Demand, Grand Rounds, Kyruus and Lyra Health.For years, Venrock partner Bryan Roberts has stayed on Forbes’s Midas List as one of the most successful health IT investors. Venrock continues to look for innovative digital health startups to invest in. “If everybody in the world is working on something, it’s less interesting to us,” said Roberts. Is your digital health product or service out of the ordinary?

True Ventures

10. True Ventures: This Palo Alto–based VC firm was founded by Phil Black and Jon Callaghan as an early-stage investor. Since then, it has emerged as a notable investor in the digital health space. Last year, this VC firm participated in a $14 million Series A funding round for Lumity, which takes employee health plans to a new level.In addition, True Ventures’ other 2015 health tech deals included investments in Deep Genomics, which aims to transform medicine through genome biology, and Athos, an innovator in wearables.

There are many other investors that actively fund innovative digital health startups! This blog highlights the 10 most active health IT investors in 2015. These firms continue to team up with digital health entrepreneurs in 2016.

Which other investors do you think should be added to this list?

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