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CVC in healthcare: 10 leading corporate venturing funds

10 international corporate venturing funds

CVC in healthcare keeps on growing this year. Corporate companies innovate their healthcare products and business models and love to cooperate with startups to do so. And all kinds of companies have their own corporate venturing funds investing in healthcare.

If you are interested in corporate venturing examples in our industry, I’ve selected some of the leading international cvc-funds with an active healthcare portfolio for you.

At the end of this blog, you can find some tips in case you want to cooperate with a healthcare CVC-fund.

Corporate companies looking to set up their own collaborations might learn from this HBR-article: things you can do to better work with startups (only 25% of all initiatives reach their goals).

Here are some of the top corporate venture funds in health:

1. Google Ventures (GV): Google Ventures is in the top 5% of all investors. GV has a balanced portfolio of seed investments up to IPO* and acquisition. Healthcare is the second largest industry in this corporate fund and counts for 78 investments (July ’19)(Source: Dealroom).

Only this summer, GV invested in Freenome (early cancer detection), Collective Health (health insurance platform), and therapeutic companies Cronos Bio (cancer), TScan Therapeutics (T-cell therapy) and BlackThorn Therapeutics (neurobehavioral health).

GV has invested in many therapeutic companies, but also in companies changing primary care such as One Medical Group (US – changing the way you visit your doctor).

In Europe, Google Ventures has specifically chosen Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) to invest in Oxford University spin-offs.

Indeed, one can say Google has a masterplan for healthcare … 

2. Kamet Ventures : Kamet was founded in 2016 by French insurer AXA insurance and has offices in Paris, London and Tel Aviv. They (of course) mainly invest in insurtech, protection and assistance, including health.  Some of the start-ups in their portfolio include Padoa (reinventing occupational health), Qare (teleconsultation services) and Air doctor (medical services while being abroad).

3. The pharma CVCs: It goes without saying that pharma uses corporate venturing and focuses primarily (but not only) on health in these activities: it is their core business and pharmaceutical companies are used to working with long incubation times. Patience is a great virtue for corporations that want to collaborate with starters.

Leading in the pharma CVC-scene are Novartis  (the most active, with no less than 112 investments and already 9 rounds in the last year), Boehringer Ingelheim (with a nice diverse portfolio and a strong geographical spread), Novo Ventures (also strong collaborations in the US and UK, besides the home market of Denmark, and with a broad perspective that also fits gaming and home living), Roche Venture Fund and SRone, the venture branch of the Belgian Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), which mainly works from the US.

some top healthcare cvc funds: GV, Kamet, Qualcomm, Novartis Venture Fund, Swisscom and Kaiser Permanente

4. Swisscom VenturesThe CVC branch of the Swiss telecom company
Swisscom collaborates with FemTech company Ava health and Sophia Genetics, among others.

They combine an interest in biotech with artificial intelligence in health and have mainly invested in Swiss and US healthcare companies.

5. Qualcomm VenturesYet another telecom player who is also strong in
healthcare corporate venturing. Qualcomm is one of the most active and international ventures. They invested in Doctor on-demand and Welltok (USA), but also in Portea Medical (home care in India).

6. Robert Bosch VenturesBosch is reinventing itself: from a German technology corporation with a solid and somewhat traditional image to a very active corporate venture capitalist, with interest in health.

Notable at Bosch Ventures is that the German home market is NOT the market where they have the most CV collaborations. In health, Robert Bosch Ventures has invested in Cheetah Medical (Israel, monitoring systems) and Optomed (Finland, digital imaging devices) among others.

7. Samsung Ventures: The Korean technology company has a healthy interest in healthcare and shows this through collaborations in the US and Israel. The latter being a real hotspot for health innovations by the way.

Samsung Ventures have Earlysense (early patient detection; Israël) and Welldoc in their CVC portfolios and also work with the Belgian IoT-company Sentiance.

8. GE VenturesGE has over 40 healthcare companies in its portfolio. It has a preference for start-ups in the US and Israel. They bet on health measurement and data solutions and collaborate for example with Iora Health (navigate the health system), Bright health (insurance plans) and Acutus Medical.

9. Hospitals become corporate ventures:
In the US, various hospitals and health systems are very active as start-up investors. Kaiser Permanente VenturesIntermountain Healthcare Ventures and Mayo Clinic Ventures are just a few of them.

In Europe, hospitals often designate an innovation fund to finance internal innovations or to develop in-house intellectual property. But they do not (yet) enter into structural financing for external health start-ups.

If you’re looking for Corporate Venturing collaboration, you should know this:

if you want to collaborate with a cvc fund

In Europe, more than half of CVC investments in all industries are made in B2B scale-ups.

Furthermore, it is also interesting to know that CVCs (of course) set up most collaborations with start-ups in their home market. So if you are located in a country where there is not (yet) an office of a healthcare-focused CVC, the chance of setting up a successful collaboration will, unfortunately, be lower.

On the other hand: many corporate companies keep on collaborating with health startups directly from their balance sheets.

If you think the larger CV-funds above are still too much out of reach for you, let their background inspire you for the kind of SME’s you can appeal to in your home market: insurers, media companies and publishers, and telecom companies are among the potential partners

You can also join the Euroquity-platform for free: it’s backed by BPI France and connects European startups and investors to each other. You can also join specific funding groups and challenges.

Want to read more on CVC funds?

  • Read the must-have book of Omar Mohout and Dado Van Peteghem on corporate venturing (published in 2018).
  • check out this article of Sifted on CVC-funds in Europe, including also some of the important funds I mention here.
  • Join the dashplus newsletter and stay on top of the newest business ideas and models in healthcare. It’s completely FREE.

  • * IPO= the initial public offering of a company

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