Healthcare funding has been on a roll recently, and that strength has extended into seed stage funding, where funding reached a five-year high last year.
Investors put $124M into 147 seed deals to US-based healthcare startups in 2015, up 16% on a funding basis and 4% on a deals basis versus 2014 totals. This was the second year in a row with $100M+ in healthcare seed deals, as 2014 ended with $107M, while 2013 saw $87M in deals.
Notable seed deals in 2015 included stealthy Orionis Biosciences‘ $4M financing from Excel Venture Management, as well as $4M seed rounds to biotech players Thrive Bioscience and Verge Genomics, the latter a company that mines data on existing drugs to predict which ones will work for specific diseases.
On a quarterly basis, activity broke the 40-deal threshold in both Q1’15 and Q3’15, the first time that’s happened since a seed activity spike in 2012.
Seed healthcare investing by industry
Seed investors in healthcare in 2015 did the bulk of their deals in two industries, medical devices and biotech. Medical devices startups garnered 34% of all seed deals, raising $31.8M in aggregate, while biotech startups saw a 30% deal share and raised a combined total of $36.9M.
Notable medical device companies to raise seed rounds in 2015 include tissue engineering startup CuraSeal, which raised $3.28M in May 2015 from Ascent Biomedical Ventures, as well as FirstSense Medical, a company developing an automated tester for breast cancer screening, which raised $3M in June 2015.
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