European Health and Biotech, investing in future outcomes – H1 2021 update

Transformation in healthcare has clearly accelerated in the last 18 months. But while immediate attention was on acute clinical solutions for the pandemic, investment being made now has longer term horizons. As H1 of 2021 closes, we recap an extraordinary period for European health and biotech startups, in partnership with Octopus Venture’s Transforming Healthcare Systems summit.

Report - European Health & Biotech – H1 2021 update

A step change in investment

European Healthtech investment hit €4.9B in the first half of 2021, 2.6x the H1 2020 total, while biotech startups added an additional €2.9B. While megarounds accounted for around half of all investment in the first six months of the year, there has been investment growth at every round stage, from pre-Seed to late stage.

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Valuations pass €200B

In the broader Health and biotech space, European startups are now worth a combined €231B, unsurprisingly led by vaccine developers BioNTech (€46B) and CureVac (€22B). But European unicorns have also emerged across a diverse set of health and biotech applications, from autoimmune disease treatment (argenx), and haematology (AcertaPharma) to gene editing (Crispr Therapeutics), psychedelics (Atai), drug discovery (Roivant Science, Excientia) and consumer-facing digital therapeutics (COMPASS Pathways), insurance (alan, wefox) and telemedicine providers (Babylon Health, Kry, Doctolib).

International eyes on European tech

European innovation in health and biotech is grabbing the attention of international investors. US investors account for nearly half of all European startup investment in health and biotech – a growing proportion.

Focus on the future

As health systems look to recover and catch up after waves of overwhelming strain to the system, there is more public and private attention than at almost any time in history on healthcare, and quality of outcomes. Clinical care contributes just 10-20% to quality and length of life, alongside socio-economic factors (40%+), health-related behaviours (30%+) and our physical environments (10%+).

Entrepreneurial and investor focus is addressing all four areas. The holy grail for healthcare is prevention and early detection. This paradigm shift has been long in the making, but accelerated by tech and investment, it’s now well underway.

Report - European Health & Biotech – H1 2021 update