Top 5 Highlights from Startup Health’s Moonshot Report

StartUp Health is an organization that introduced a new model for transforming health by organizing and supporting a global army of entrepreneurs they call “Health Transformers”. The organization has the world’s largest digital health portfolio with over 180 companies spanning 16 countries and 60+ cities. Recently, StartUp health published a report that reveals the top 10 “health moonshots” that are changing the world right now. A health moonshot is essentially a long term goal with a 25 year mission to “improve the health wellbeing of everyone in the world.” These are extremely ambitious goals and it’s undeniably inspiring to see an entity pursue them seriously.

top 5 highlights

Here are Startup Health’s top 10 health moonshots, according to StartUp Health:

  1. Access to Care Moonshots: Delivering quality care to everyone, regardless of location or income.
  2. Cost to Zero Moonshots: Radically reducing the cost of care by a factor of a million.
  3. Cure Disease Moonshots: Curing disease using data, technologies and personalized medicine.
  4. Cancer Moonshots: Ending cancer as we know it
  5. Women’s Health Moonshots: Prioritizing women’s health, including preventive care and new research.
  6. Children’s Health Moonshots: Ensuring every child has access to quality care, particularly in underserved areas.
  7. Nutrition and Fitness Moonshots: Providing access to a health environment and support an active lifestyle.
  8. Brain Health Moonshots: Unlocking the mysteries of the brain to improve health.
  9. Mental Health and Wellbeing Moonshots: De-stigmatizing mental health and connect mind, body and spirit.
  10. Longevity Moonshots: Adding 50 healthy years to every human life.


Looking Back at 2016, The Biggest Year for Health StartUps Yet

2016 was a monumental year for the “Moonshot Movement”. It was a record breaking year when it comes to digital health funding, with over $8 billion invested in over 500 digital health companies alone to fuel “innovation in medicine, infrastructure and consumer-driven health. Additionally more than 200 new investors entered the funding ecosystem, which puts the total amount of investors at more than 800, ranging from traditional VC and angel investor to Fortune 500 and Private Equity.

The size of deals was bigger than ever, with nearly a quarter of all funding invested into five deals. These companies receiving huge amounts of capital have bold visions and are setting out to achieve the “moonshots” laid out earlier in this article.


Here is a year-over-year snaspshot of digital health funding excerpted from the report:

year over year

To summarize the report’s findings: it’s been a record year for pharma, provider, and payor landscapes. According to Kimberly Muller, Director of Technology Transfer at UC innovations, we may be in the midst of a revolution. Every 50 years we see a massive revolution in healthcare and she believes that the next one is due in 2020. When you look at the amount of money that is being poured into healthcare startups, it’s clear that the industry is building towards something big.


The Top Ten Largest Deals of 2016

In our last overview article, we looked at some of the biggest deals for health startups in Q3, but now we’ll take a deeper look into the year overall. According to the report, “three of the top five deals in record were signed this year, demonstrating international commitment to supporting paradigm shifting ideas in digital health. Below, we feature a screenshot from the report that lists the companies, amount invested, subsector and most notable investor:


top ten


Onduo led the list as the number one deal, but was tied with Ping an Good Doctore with $500m invested. Both companies fit into the subsector of patient/consumer experience. In the case of Onduo, the most notable investor with Google, the company has been making strides particularly in the life sciences area with the inception of their new company, Verily.

The Top 10 Most Active Markets of 2016

The most funded and active market of 2016 was patient.consumer experience with $2.8 billion in funding and 163 deals. The average deal size was $17 million, followed by wellness with a solid $1 billion invested and personal health/quantified self with $765 million. Both of those areas combined saw less deals than patient/consumer experience. Check out the screenshot of the list below to get a glimpse into the rest of the most active health startup markets in 2017.

top ten most active markets

The report was full of interesting comments about the state of the industry, including the following quote from Blake Walker, the co-founder and CPO of Inbox Health: “One of the most exciting things in 2017 will be the continued emergence of blockchain technology in healthcare to power a more secure and transparent healthcare system,” Walker said. “This could have a huge impact on everything from how we share and view medical records to our claim processing and billing systems.”


The Top Investors of 2016

Below we feature a list of the top investors in healthcare startups in 2016. Some of them are certainly familiar names, but others may surprise you. The top investor overall was GE Ventures, with 18 deals last year and 10 deals in 2015, including early, mid and late stage deals. Other top investors included familiar names like Intel Capital, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and StartupHealth. Many of these investors were tied in terms of number of deals, but some investors focused more on particular stages of investment than others. For example, Andreesen Horowitz primarily focused on early stage deals.

top investorsTo gain a complete understand of the outlook for healthcare startups, it would be best to read the full report, which you can find on the StartUp Health website. We’ve really only scratched the surface in this blog, as the report is in total 33 pages long. With the current trends, it’s looking like 2017 will most likely be another record year for healthcare startups and we may begin to see some of these technologies going into the mainstream as they reach late stage investment. Hopefully, these companies and StartUp Health are successful in making their ambitious moonshot goals a reality because humanity stands to greatly benefit if that happens.

Stay tuned for more insights into the healthcare startup ecosystem as more reports are released and be sure to check out our previous blogs on healthcare startups to learn more about what’s going on right now.