These are the 3 global digital health hubs to watch
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Digital health companies across the globe ended the first half of 2019 with a bang, hauling in a grand total of $6.8 billion, up slightly from the $6.6 billion players worldwide bagged in the first half of 2018, according to Startup Health.
We covered last week that the US digital health industry tallied north of $4 billion in funding over Q1 and Q2 2019 - meaning US companies continue to attract the lion's share of investment. But other countries are zooming forward with digital health development and leading investors to open up their wallets and dole out bigger sums.
Here are a few international digital health hubs we think are worth watching:
- Beijing. Beijing-based Tencent Trusted Doctor hooked in the global industry's biggest funding round yet this year - a $250 million round held in April - catapulting the city's total digital health funding to $486 million. This is an impressive leap from the $140 million digital health companies in the city accrued this time last year. It makes sense the Chinese capital's health tech boom is well underway: Health tech adoption among both Chinese healthcare professionals and consumers far surpasses those from other countries.
- Paris. Companies based in Paris scooped up a total of $321 million, over four times as much as the the city's digital health companies landed in Q1 and Q2 2018. And I (Zoë) think the French capital's digital health companies will continue to impress investors: The French government is driving innovation through its "national e-health strategy," which was instituted in 2016 with a € 2 billion ($2.2 billion) backing, per VPH Institute.
- Bangalore. Bangalore's digital health industry roped in $178 million in 2019 through Q2, double the amount it boasted this time last year. Bangalore's strong tech presence has earned it the title "the Silicon Valley of India," per BBC. As a world-renowned tech hub that likely attracts top-notch talent, Bangalore should continue to climb in the digital health ranks. And new tech is already being welcomed in the healthcare industry: 88% of Indian health pros use some sort of digital health tech.
Despite digital health's maturation in other cities, I think US digital health firms will continue to eclipse their global counterparts in attracting investor appetite.
- US-based companies are on track to complete a higher volume of megadeals. So far in the US this year, we've seen five megadeals - which StartUp Health describes as a single funding round of $100 million or more - among digital health companies totaling about $720 million. Conversely, there were only two elsewhere across the globe. So, while international startups are upping their healthcare innovation games, US startups are bringing in larger sums of money. And I think this trend will continue in the second half of the year as more mature companies engage in later-stage deals.
- And US digital health IPO activity is heating up, which could prove to investors that the US digital health industry is a steady bet.The IPO floodgates are wide open after a spate of US digital health startups - like Change Healthcare and Livongo - doubled down on plans to go public. The flurry of IPO activity could be a telling sign that the digital health industry overall is maturing and worthy of investors' cash.
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