Amidst the pandemic crisis, the healthcare and life sciences industries have come under increased scrutiny. Be it global and national bodies or private healthcare providers, there is a great focus right now. Also, government spending on healthcare services has increased exponentially, encouraging widespread digital transformation.
As these companies are scaling up to meet the pandemic demand, 2020 saw a record high VC investment in the UK healthtech companies at $2.33 billion, notes dated from Tech Nation. This leaves the UK behind the US and China on a global scale. Also, healthtech investment was second to fintech in 2020.
While we are in mid-2021, there seems to be no change in this trend with several UK healthtech companies attracting VC investment. Also, there are massive job openings of close to 10,000 in the healthtech scaleups this year. Having detailed these trends, here is a list of the coolest UK healthtech startups that deserve your attention in 2021.
Founder/s: Max Parmentier, Abeed Mohamed, Gwen Le Calvez, Rajiv Tanna
Founded year: 2017
Birdie is the caretech reinventing elderly care at home. The company believes older people should have vibrant and happy lives as they age. Its intuitive app-based solution is the operating system for the care community to deliver more coordinated, personalised and preventative care. Birdie is B Corp certified and committed to caring for their team, society and planet.
In May, Birdie secured £8.2 million funding in a round led by Index Ventures, an international VC firm along with Kamet Ventures. The funding will be used to power Birdie’s next phase of growth in the UK as it scales to meet rapidly growing demand among the care community. Birdie will also invest in product innovation, creating new features to address customer requests.
Founder/s: Paul D McGeoch, Jason McKeown
Founded year: 2013
Neurovalens, a Belfast healthtech startup has developed wearables focused on users’ health. The products launched by company includes Modius Health and Modius Sleep. Modius Health is a headband, which helps lose weight by buzzing your brain. While the later intends to solve sleep problems sans any medication. The current focus is on treating the neurological elements of obesity through stimulation of the brainstem and hypothalamus.
In January last year, this healthtech wearable maker raised £4.6 million in a round led by London-based Wharton Asset Management along with TechStart Ventures, IQ Capital, Beltrae Partners, Co-Fund NI and the Angel CoFund.
Founder/s: Bahman Nedjat-Shokouhi
Founded year: 2013
Medefer is a Care Quality Commission registered provider, working in partnership with the NHS to provide a virtual outpatient service and deliver faster, better care for patients. The London startup uses its software platform to review and manage GP referrals online by its team of UK-registered, specialist consultants, so patients don’t have to wait for an in-person hospital appointment. It works closely with the NHS and Medefer is now included in the NHS England Increasing Capacity Framework.
In September last year, Medefer picked up £10 million funding in a round led by private investment firm Nickleby Capital. The growth funding will be used to invest in people and technology to service new contracts, enable new product development and ensure scalable and robust growth from its strong pipeline.
Founder/s: Jon Arcos
Founded year: 2004
UK-based Axis is developing the next generation of Anterior Spinal Implant technology which provides surgeons with increased correction and alignment options. Its modular devices are inserted with less force than conventional implants to reduce the risks of structural damage which can lead to subsidence, an under-reported and recognised complication.
Earlier this year, the spinal medtech startup pocketed £2.2 million in a funding round led by ACF Investors’ new Delta Fund with follow-on investment from Mercia’s EIS funds. Also, it has been backed by a syndicate of angel investors with deep sector knowledge. The funding will support the launch of the new device in the USA and accelerate developments of Oblique, Lateral cage implants, and a highly differentiated access system.
Founder/s: Ranjan Singh
Founded year: 2019
HealthHero is a digital health provider that brings together human expertise and digital convenience to provide quality remote health consultations. It offers remote access to experienced doctors and expert clinicians directly to patients, insurance-policy holders and employees. HealthHero provides a full spectrum of primary care services delivered through a suite of digital tools. Based in London, the company also operates in the Republic of Ireland, and France.
Recently, HealthHero announced the acquisition of French telehealth pioneer, Qare to become Europe’s largest telehealth company, backed by Europe’s leading healthtech venture builder Kamet Ventures. Prior to this, the virtual care company acquired the digital triage platform Doctorlink.
Founder/s: Caroline Noublanche, Julio Louzada, Andrew Berkley
Founded year: 2016
Apricity is the world’s first virtual fertility clinic, which puts patients and their needs at the centre of the fertility process. It is a one-stop-shop with digital tools and modular services. The femtech startup lets women customise their journeys and access the best doctors and techniques in a streamlined process combining the best of Artificial Intelligence with a human touch. Apricity has also developed proprietary algorithms to inform the treatment management for every individual or couple, thereby maximising their prospects for success.
Back in 2019, Apricity raised €6 million in its Series A funding round from AXA’s Kamet Ventures. The fundraising was meant to accelerate the company’s go-to-market plans, especially with AXA, to better support and empower women and couples everywhere.
Founder/s: Shishir Singhee
Founded year: 2018
London-headquartered Medloop is a combination of a SaaS platform for doctors, and an app for patients. It enables doctors and administrators to manage patient populations better and more efficiently while empowering patients themselves to live healthier lives. It is being introduced into stretched healthcare systems that are characterised by lack of regular contact between doctor and patient, and is designed to enable both parties to initiate contact proactively.
Early in 2020, Medloop grabbed €6 million in investment to enhance its product offering and continue expansion across Germany and the UK. The investment was pumped in by Kamet Ventures and AXA.
Founder/s: Mike Karim
Founded year: 2015
Oxford Endovascular, a spin-out from Oxford University and is working to prevent brain haemorrhage by developing technology to stop it from happening. The company has developed a micro stent called OxiFlow, which utilises ‘Origami’ engineering. This can be inserted into the brain blood vessels via minimally invasive groin access. It lies across the base of the aneurysm and causes it to shrink and heal.
In April this year, the medtech company secured $10 million (nearly £7.2 million) in a Series A funding round led by Vulpes Investment Management. Existing investors including, Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC, Parkwalk Advisors, Perivoli Innovations, Oxford Investment Consultants, the University of Oxford, and private individuals, also participated in the round. The funding will be used to complete development work and gain first-in-human data through an early feasibility clinical study.
BrainWaveBank (Cumulus Neuroscience)
Founder/s: Ronan Cunningham, Brian Murphy
Founded year: 2015
UK-based Cumulus Neuroscience (formerly BrainWaveBank) makes it possible to measure and track brain activity and cognitive performance. It has developed a first-in-class wearable electroencephalography (EEG) device to conveniently and non-invasively measure the mechanisms that underpin neurological disorders and therapies. The data can support clinical trials and the development of new therapies and diagnostics while individual level data can provide users with personalised insights into their cognitive health.
In May this year, the company bagged £6 million in funding led by the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) joined by LifeArc, a medical research charity, and the UK Future Fund. Cumulus Neuroscience will use the funds to advance its next-generation integrated physiological and digital biomarker platform, which provides clinical trial data and AI-powered insights to accelerate the development of life-changing CNS therapies.
Founder/s: Mario Saenz Espinoza, Frederico Carpinteiro
Founded year: 2015
Adapttech is a biomedical company that develops innovative, smart and wearable technologies to help people with physical limitations improve their quality of life. The business has created technologies to help with the fitting and monitoring of lower limb prosthetic devices.
In March this year, the Birmingham-based biomedical startup pocketed £2 million in venture capital funding. The investment round was led by existing investors, including the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. The others that took part in the round are Bionova Capital (formerly Hovione Capital) and new investors, including ACF Investors, Wealth Club and Wren Capital. Adapttech will use the investment for new product developments and drive sales of its next-generation system to improve prosthetic devices’ fitting.