Skip to Content

VC Funding for Mobile Health Apps Hit an All-Time Record in 2016

There's plenty of room for progress.Photograph by Nicholas Kamm — AFP/Getty Images

Health IT venture funding came roaring back to life in 2016 after a slight dip in the previous year, according to a new report from market intelligence firm Mercom Capital Group. And mobile health apps drew in more cash than ever before.

Total global health care IT funding crossed the $5 billion mark (not including bioinformatics or medical devices) while mobile health raised a record $1.3 billion. Volume swelled, too, with 622 deals completed in 2016 compared with 574 deals that raised $4.6 billion in 2015.

Click here to subscribe to Brainstorm Health Daily, our brand new newsletter about health innovations.

Mercom Capital Group
Mercom Capital Group

Right behind the mobile health market, wearable sensor companies raised $592 million, data analytics firms raised $574 million, and telemedicine companies raised $528 million.

While the report is global in scope (encompassing 35 different countries), health IT VC was strongest in the United States, which comprised $3.4 billion of funding out of the $5 billion total across 431 deals.

The biggest players in this health tech VC cash bonanza? Pretty much who you’d expect: Khosla Ventures, GE Ventures, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, and others. And the three biggest rounds of the year went to the Chinese medical service mobile app Ping An Good Doctor ($500 million Series A), telemedicine app Chunyu Yisheng ($183 million), cancer big data form Flatiron Health ($175 million), activity tracker Jawbone ($165 million), and the women’s health-centered social platform Meet You ($151 million).

Clearly, there was plenty of private money to go around. But things slowed down a bit on the M&A front, with 205 such deals in 2016 compared with 219 in 2015.

As smartphones become ubiquitous, especially in emerging markets, expect the mobile health app venture market to stay hot.