Amidst Covid-19 concerns, the health and wellness space has taken the spotlight, attracting unprecedented levels of investment from institutional and retail investors alike. While developments in health technology may have been a strategic response to a global crisis, we expect to see growth in innovation and investment in this sector in 2021 and beyond.

Here’s why we’re keeping a close eye on the healthcare space.

Investment in healthtech is on the rise

Healthtech businesses are capturing the attention of institutional investors, attracting $16B of VC investment globally in 2020. Much of this was invested into alternative care providers, including telehealth, AI-powered diagnostic solutions and mental health platforms. While fintech still tops the list in investment, healthtech saw the largest jump in institutional investment of any other sector.

Healthtech disruptors such as home care startup Lifted, whose £1.6M seed round was led by Fuel Ventures in July, have turned the heads of VCs recently. Other top raises include french insurtech Alan, which raised €50M in April from Index Ventures and Temasek, and Swedish doctor-on-demand startup Kry, which raised €140m in January from Index Ventures, Creandum and Accel. The common denominator among VC picks? Robust tech infrastructures that improve the quality of care, reduce costs and improve accessibility for consumers while tackling the scalability challenges of industry incumbents.

Health and wellness innovation has also become a hot topic for retail investors. The number of health-related businesses fundraising with Seedrs shot up 183% in 2020, with investor appetite for opportunities in the space growing quickly alongside it. Many top healthcare raises on Seedrs garnered support from retail investors including braincare supplement Heights, digital care provider Q Doctor, wellness provider Span Health and behavioural change platform One Year No Beer – which brought on board over 2,000 retail investors combined. You can check out secondary opportunities in each of these companies on our Secondary Market*.

Telehealth is the new normal

Prior to 2020, 95% of patient contact with medical professionals was face-to-face. Restrictions on movement have accelerated large-scale adoption of digital health services, and technology companies are racing to capitalise on changes in regulation as governments tackle the virus. The telehealth market was worth $45 billion in 2019 and is expected to see 19.3% compound annual growth (CAGR) until 2026. While the transition to online health was remarkably quick due to the crisis, the healthcare industry is likely changed forever – and for the better. Deloitte reported that a switch to digital care can reduce medical paperwork by 60%, while giving patients up to 29% more face time with medical professionals.

Many Seedrs investors were able to help power the telehealth movement. At the height of the pandemic, digital health startup Q Doctor, which raised over £1.2M from more than 520 investors on Seedrs, joined forces with the NHS to reduce in face to face outpatient appointments and support over 300 medical professionals to go back to work remotely, using its innovative virtual workspace and online video consultations solution, Q health. If you’re interested in owning shares in Q Doctor, keep an eye on the Secondary Market, where sharelots may be listed with offers starting at £4.24.

Q Doctor is one of over 3,800 healthtech companies in the UK paving the way for better, more accessible solutions for its users. As we move forward into 2021, we’ll be looking to fund even more healthtechs like Q Doctor, allowing our investors to take a position in the telehealth market.

Wellness has taken centre stage

Disruption of day-to-day life has led to a rise in consumer demand for solutions that boost overall wellness, happiness and mental stability through trying times.

In 2020, as gyms and studios across the country are forced to close, and 15.6 million people in the UK are now using some form of fitness app every day, with downloads globally surging by 46%. And fitness isn’t the only thing consumers are looking for in a new, virtual normal. The highest grossing app in Q2 of 2020 was mental health platform Calm, at $8.5 million in total revenue. The mental health giant closed a $75 million round at a $2.2 billion valuation in 2020, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, alongside Insight, TPG and Salesforce CEO and new owner of Slack, Marc Benioff.

Seedrs investors have also been able to partake in the growth of the market for remote solutions. In August of 2020, over 900 investors supported wellness and beauty platform Urban to raise over £5.8 million. As more opportunities go live on the platform, retail investors are focusing attention on tech solutions – both live and on the Secondary Market – that can deliver mental and physical wellness remotely and conveniently.

Why we’re watching the healthcare space

Today’s consumers want convenience and simplicity – whether they’re forced to stay at home or not. Both public and private companies around the world have proven that accessible health and wellness for all is achievable. In the past year, we’ve witnessed a vaccine that would have taken 10 years to develop and deploy, reaching millions around the world in under one. Widespread improvements in pharmaceutical clinical trial technologies will only continue to empower biotech innovators to bring crucial medicines to market, faster.

While life will return to normal, the healthtech market shows no signs of slowing. We’re looking forward to helping fund more businesses with big ideas for the future of health, and in turn, helping our investors share in the growth of a sector on the rise.

To view live investment opportunities in healthcare, visit here.