New York beats Silicon Valley in digital healthcare funding

Steven Loeb · December 13, 2016 · Short URL:

The city has raised over $800 million, thanks to Oscar and Flatiron Health

Editor's note: Our Splash Health, Wellness and Wearables event is coming up on March 23 in San Francisco. We'll have Steve Jurvetson (Draper Fisher Jurvetson), J. Craig Venter (Human Longevity), Patrick Chung (XFund), Risa Stack (GE Ventures), Paul Willard (Subtraction Capital), Julie Papanek (Canaan Partners) and more. Check out the full lineup and register for tickets before they jump! If you’re a healthcare startup and you’re interested in being part of our competition, learn more and register here.

The New York tech scene has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. In the first quarter of this year, investments in New York City startups rose over 73 year-to-year, thanks, in large part, to two big fundraisings by healthcare companies.

Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise, then, that the city has finally overtaken Silicon Valley, at least in dollars going to the digital health space.

As of the end of November, digital health startups in New York City had raised $866 million, 49 percent more than the $582 million raised by companies based in Silicon Valley, according to a report out from CB Insights on Tuesday. 

That's a major change from each of the last four years, when Silicon Valley won easily, though the gap between the two ecosystems had been narrowing. In 2012, the difference between the funding going to digital health companies in New York and Silicon Valley was 238 percent; by 2015, Silicon Valley had raised just 20 percent more than New York.

Since 2012, funding to health startups in New York City is up over 1000 percent, while Silicon Valley is over 150 percent. 

New York's largest healthcare deals this year, so far, were the $400 million raised by Oscar Health, an online health insurance network, February; and Flatiron Health, a developer of a database platform for the oncology industry, which raised $175 million in January. Those two deals alone account for 66 percent of the digital health funding raised.

Interestingly, both New York and Silicon Valley had the same number of deals, at 58 each, but, since 2012, Silicon Valley's largest healthcare deal came in 2014, when Proteus Digital Health raised $120 million. 

Funding by stage

Despite having two later stage deals push its numbers up, New York still has a much larger percentage of early stage healthcare deals than Silicon Valley. It had 55 percent of its deals go to seed/angel or Series A rounds, while the Valley had 47 percent. In just the very earliest stages, it was 38 percent of deals going to seed or angel rounds for New York, compared to 31 percent in the Valley.

New York may still be seeing more very early deals, but the number has nearly been cut in half from 2012, when over 70 percent of its deals were in seed and angel rounds. Meanwhile, the percentage of Series B rounds grew from 7 percent to 16 percent, while Series C rounds went from 0 percent to 7 percent. 

That indicates that all of those early stage companies from a fewyears ago are still around and raising later stages. That's how the ecosystem matures. 

Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley, seed/angel and Series A deals have dropped from 68 percent of deals in 2014 to 47 percent in 2016. At the same time, mid-stage deal share has grown from 16 percent to 27 percent in the same time period.

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Proteus Digital Health develops digital medicines that collect and aggregate various behavioral, physiological and therapeutic metrics.

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