7 digital health 'unicorns' valued at $1B+

Investors poured $8.1 billion into digital health startups in 2018, up 42 percent from 2017's landmark year of $5.7 billion in funding, according to a Rock Health report.

Rock Health, a seed fund focused on digital health startups, reviewed the 368 digital health deals completed in 2018 for its year-end report. Despite the rise in digital health funding in 2018, the number of deals was almost static, up only slightly from the 360 deals completed in 2017.

In the startup space, investors often refer to private companies valued at more than $1 billion as "unicorns." 2018 saw seven of these companies in the digital health space, according to the report.

Here are the seven digital health unicorns from 2018:

1. Peloton (connected indoor fitness cycles): $4.1 billion

2. 23andMe (direct-to-consumer genetic testing): $2.5 billion

3. Tempus (genomics platform for molecular and clinical data): $2 billion

4. Zocdoc (online platform for scheduling appointments with providers): $2 billion

5. HeartFlow (non-invasive coronary artery disease detection): $1.5 billion

6. Proteus (ingestible and wearable sensors for medication tracking): $1.5 billion

7. Butterfly (handheld ultrasound and smartphone app): $1.2 billion

While an interesting metric, some investors have cautioned against placing too much emphasis on unicorn valuations.

"I'm not a big fan of the obsession with unicorn valuations," Steve Kraus, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, said in the Rock Health report. "The focus should be on building a 'unicorn product' in healthcare and then the rest will take care of itself."

To access Rock Health's report, click here.

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