There are reasons for early-stage European healthtechs to be cheerful in 2023.
They’ve raised $7.7bn in funding so far, according to Dealroom. While that figure’s dipped from the $12.5bn picked up across a frothy 2022, it’s fallen far less proportionally than European VC as a whole.
And there are signs the sector is on the up. The second quarter of the year saw startups pick up $1.5bn — the best three month period since the last quarter of 2021. The reporting lag — where smaller rounds don’t get factored into funding figures until further down the line — means that number is likely to rise in the coming months.
So, which investors have been driving the most early-stage healthtech deals (including follow-ons) in 2023? Sifted has dug into Dealroom data — and confirmed the numbers with the most active — to find out.
*Data pulled September 27 2023
The most active healthtech investors in Europe
Fund focus: Medtech, digital health, biotech and startups that focus on sustainability in healthcare
Healthtech deals in 2023: 31
NLC is a healthtech venture builder founded in Amsterdam in 2015. It has four funds, the most recent of which announced a first close of €20m in June this year.
Fund focus: Digital health, in Europe and the US
Healthtech deals in 2023: 28
The Austrian VC holds onto the top spot it secured in 2022, backing startups like Eileen Burbidge’s reproductive healthcare platform Fertifa, medical practice management software startup Doctorly and hormone tracking startup inne. Calm/Storm is currently raising its second fund and has closed €16m of a €40m target.
EIC Fund (European Innovation Council Fund)
Fund focus: Deeptech startups in the healthtech sector
Healthtech deals in 2023: 28
The European Commission’s venture arm was set up in 2021 to bridge the early-stage investment gap in Europe — 18 of the EIC’s early-stage healthtech deals this year have been in the healthcare devices field. The fund tends to invest €500k-15m, exclusively in European startups.
Fund focus: Life sciences
Healthtech deals in 2023: 22
Scottish Enterprise is a government agency and takes a back seat in rounds — investing alongside private lead investors who pitch deals to the organisation. It has pumped more than £12m into startups in 2023, including biotech Kynos Therapeutics, cancer therapeutics startup Macomics and cell analysis startup Cytomos.
Fund focus: Robotics, AI, medtech, digital therapeutics and biotech
Healthtech deals in 2023: 19
Sofinnova Partners invests from seed to Series A, with some Series B if it’s the first round a company is raising. So far this year, the French VC has backed startups like Kiro, which uses AI to make lab results more understandable for doctors and patients, surgical robotics company Moon Surgical and biotech Sitryx. Sofinnova's latest fund was announced in March 2023, although it hasn’t disclosed the fund size.
Unsurprisingly, with the amount of crossover between the two sectors, Sofinnova also made it onto Sifted’s most active techbio investors of 2023 list.
Fund focus: Alternative care, provider operations, life sciences R&D analytics
Healthtech deals in 2023: 16
Nina Capital invests mostly at seed stage — but also backs some portfolio startups in Series A follow-on deals. So far this year it’s backed startups including clinical trial platform QuantHealth, surgical team collaboration platform Chiefy and cancer diagnostics startup Mindpeak. While the startup has backed a number of AI-based startups this year, in May partner Marta Gaia Zanchi told Sifted she thought generative AI in healthcare was “overhyped”.
Fund focus: Biotech, medtech and digital health
Healthtech deals in 2023: 15
Capital Cell is a Barcelona-based equity crowdfunding platform — the fund does the due diligence and approves startups for ordinary people to invest in — which was launched in 2014.
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF)
Fund focus: Medtech, diagnostics, R&D tools, digital health, biotech and drug development
Healthtech deals in 2023: 14
2023 has seen HTGF back startups like mental health platform Selfapy, personalised patient support platform Nia Health and microbiome analytics startup mbiomics. The VC is investing from its fourth fund, a €493m vehicle which closed earlier this year.
Fund focus: Diagnostics, digital health, drug discovery and medtech
Healthtech deals in 2023: 13
BGF has pumped £3.5bn into small and mid-sized business since being set up in 2011 by a number of UK banks in the wake of the financial crisis. Its early stage team mainly invests at Series A, with tickets from £3m-5m. In 2023, BGF has backed companies like drug discovery startup Maxion Therapeutics, cardiovascular diagnostic tools Caristo and at-home health monitoring platform Entia.
Fund focus: Personalised diagnostics, decentralised healthcare and technology that removes friction in the healthcare value chain.
Healthtech deals in 2023: 13
Octopus Ventures is one of the most active investors in the UK, and generally backs startups at seed to Series B. In 2023 it’s backed the likes of cancer care startup Perci Health, therapy platform HelloSelf and hearing health platform TympaHealth.
HQ: Henley, UK
Fund focus: AI in drug discovery, precision medicine, cell and gene therapy and surgical tech
Healthtech deals in 2023: 12
Mercia Ventures mainly invests at seed and Series A, and has backed the likes of drug discovery startup Kuano, eye health startup NuVision and synthetic gene maker Camena Bioscience in 2023.
BioInnovation Institute (BII)
Fund focus: Precision medicine, predictive health analytics and remote patient monitoring
Healthtech deals in 2023: 8
BII is a non-profit accelerator/incubator, backed by a €470m donation from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It backs pre-seed and pre-investment startups, including baby gut health platform Alba Health, disease diagnostics startup Rapidemic and cancer treatment platform Metsystem.
The 50 most active healthtech investors
While we confirmed these figures with the most active investors where possible, we know that due to reporting lag some of the earliest-stage deals may not be counted in the figures below. If you think there is anything wrong with the list, please get in touch at email@example.com and let us know.
Read: The most active healthtech investors in Europe: 2022
This article was last updated on October 31 2023.