The pandemic has presented the globe with many challenges. In response, there seemed to be an investment boom in the healthtech start-up sector. As start-ups increased in number and the competition became stronger, newcomers in the market were faced with the need to differentiate themselves in order to attract investors. A new collaboration between BBVA Spark and Barcelona Health Hub aims to steer the healthtech investment market through calmer waters.
Barcelona Health Hub links various agents of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including universities, institutions, investors, and start-ups. The Catalonia-based initiative supports healthtech start-ups and provides mentoring services and networking opportunities. It offers its members work spaces and access to a community with over 350 start-ups and 60 corporations, as well as accelerates the clinical validation process.
The collaboration between Barcelona Health Hub and BBVA Spark aims to help innovative companies grow and provide support to associated start-ups in the form of access to investors, training, or banking and financing services. This agreement, which will kick off on September 28, confirms BBVA’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship as key elements to combat present and future challenges.
According to BBVA, Manuel Morales, CEO of the Andalusian start-up Nubentos, said “Getting funding is necessary because otherwise, you can’t move forward, no matter how many possibilities the project has.” BBVA have noted that healthtech start-ups are one of the technology trends of 2022. This sector has witnessed a sharp increase in the amount of investment attracted worldwide. For instance, investment in new technologies in Spain’s national healthcare system reached €783 million in 2020, while it increased by 16.7% in 2021
A large amount of investment has gone into the development of digital health start-ups since 2020. The market’s skyrocketing trajectory is also driven by the interest of private investors. Globally, investment in digital health went up in 2021, reaching an all-time high of $57.2 billion, a 79% rise from 2020. This is expected as the transformative applications of new technologies in medicine, from using AI to optimise clinical trials or make early diagnoses to using big data to save lives, promise to be revolutionary.
According to Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), most international healthcare systems intend to be in a stage of digital transformation in the next five years. Within this period, as reported by Global Market Insights, the healthtech market will reach a value of $426.9 billion, indicating a 17.4% growth between 2021 and 2027.
Daniel Oliver, director of Capital Cell, a crowdfunding platform specialised in biomedicine, and partner at Nara Capital, an investment firm focused on biotechnology and medical technology, believes that the best way to attract the attention of investors is by having interesting results. Emerging healthtech companies, which must go through a clinical validation process before launching their product, have to realise that investors are far more likely to be interested in start-ups that have already proven that their proposition works.
Currently, it is relatively easy for a digital health solution to get to market. Many private investors are willing to support early-stage scientific companies, ensuring access to capital at the beginning and later stages of a start-up’s journey. However, being able to sustain and grow has been challenging for many start-ups.
In January, Nubentos had its second seed round of financing and also got a loan from Enisa, a public company which offers financing lines to Spanish SMEs, both amounting to a total of €700,000. It produces an API marketplace that integrates digital health solutions into healthcare software, thereby attracting the attention of Research2Guidance, Gartner, and other global consultancies.
What can be expected
Digital health seems promising, and the opportunities for digital health start-ups to transform healthcare appear unlimited. It is an exciting time for the industry, as innovative start-ups provide complete change to the way everyone interacts with the healthcare system, improving global medical access, and bringing ground-breaking scientific developments into everyday technology.
Fields such as biotech have even more frightening or fantastic possibilities, depending on how you view them. The aspect of synthetic biology could end up developing vaccines against ageing. This could affect the possibility of dying or not – a peep at immortality.
In the years to come, with careful consideration, planning, and adequate funding, digital health start-ups will flourish, achieving their ambition to revolutionise the delivery of healthcare.
It is now estimated that the global digital health market will increase to around $640 billion by 2026. Through our expertise coupled with optimized networking, we will ensure that both investors and startups are on the ground floor of this health revolution. The event which is organized and curated alongside a team of doctors, attracts legislators and policymakers, medical professionals, and investors from across the world, addresses the opportunities and challenges driving this million-dollar forum.