Despite ongoing economic headwinds and a pressured venture fundraising environment, investment in startup companies addressing women’s health is on the rise.
According to a recent report from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a division of First Citizens Bank, investment in women’s health companies increased 314% since 2018, while overall investment for the health sector increased 28%.
SVB’s Innovation in Women’s Health Report examines fundraising and investment activity as well as capital and valuation trends across the sector. The report defines women’s health as healthtech, biopharma, diagnostics/tools, and medical device companies that address underserved care needs for women. This includes conditions that uniquely impact women, conditions that differently or disproportionately impact women, and conditions that are marked by gender-based discrepancies in care.
Along with other startups, women’s health companies saw valuations drop in 2023. Women’s health companies are typically valued lower than healthcare companies overall, with seed stage women’s health companies consistently valued 20% lower than overall healthcare companies at the seed stage, according to the data. One reason for the lower valuations could be lack of data collection on women’s health conditions, SVB reported.
Key Report Findings:
- With a 314% increase in women’s health venture capital investment since 2018, 2023 will rank as a top funding year for the sector
- Investments in non-reproduction startups reached $435 million in Q3 2023, indicating a shift in the long-held misconception that fertility and pregnancy are the sole focus of women’s health
- Averaging $182M investment per quarter, biopharma surpassed healthtech as the top funded women’s health subsector in 2023
- 76% of women’s health companies have a female founder which is three times higher than companies across the overall innovation ecosystem