Health and Biotech – A European showcase

That the world of Healthtech and Biotech have seen growth in the last 18 months in perhaps no surprise, but the scale of the shifts in the startup market perhaps are. European Health and Biotech startups are now worth a combined $232B, and global Health and Biotech investment is on track to pass $100B this year.

For LocalGlobe’s latest showcase on Health and Biotech co-hosted by General Partner Julia Hawkins and WIRED editor-turned investor David Rowan, we put together some latest finding from our dedicated Health database on global Healthtech and Biotech, sector capital flows, and the continued challenges in our global healthcare systems.

Report - European Health & Biotech VC funding

Breaking records

Global health and biotech investment is on track to pass $100B in 2021, with the fastest Healthtech investment growth happening in Europe. At current pace, European Healthtech startups will raise $8.6B in 2021, up from 2020’s record of $4B.

Biotech startups make up 79% of the value of the European Healthtech and Biotech ecosystem, with European Biotechs worth a combined $184B, compared to a combined $48B for European Healthtechs.

Unicorn factories

The UK and France lead in Europe for the creation of Healthtech and Biotech unicorns ($1B+ value) and future unicorns ($250M-$1B). 57% of Europe’s 13 Healthtech unicorns and 40 future unicorns are based in the UK and France, as well as 40% of the 31 biotech unicorns and 51 future unicorns.

After the UK, France and Germany, Switzerland performs well in Health and Biotech, ranking 4th by unicorns and future unicorns created.

Building a biotech startup can be quite different from building a SaaS startups, and the funding journeys can look quite different. Biotech startups are more almost 1.5x as likely to raise a second round of investment compared to other tech startups, though as all companies start reaching maturity, the round graduations rates tend to even out. It seems at early stage it takes more time and capital to prove validation for a potentially scientifically groundbreaking biotech.

It also takes (a bit) more time and a money to scale a healthtech or biotech startup, with longer runway between rounds.

National health services

Even within a region with highly developed healthcare systems, Europe has large disparities between their healthcare resourcing, habits and culture. Greeks take 3x more antibiotics than the Dutch, and Germans have 3-4x the number of hospital beds as Sweden, Denmark or the UK.

Scaling startups that can be as adaptable to culture as well as regional regulation will offer challenges, and opportunities.

Report - European Health & Biotech VC funding