After two previous successful funds, the third Health Innovations venture capital fund has been initiated to support innovative healthcare start-ups in developing their products and bringing them to the market. In the coming years, the fund will invest € 15 million in 10 to 15 starting tech companies. The fund is focused on innovative digital health solutions that keep healthcare affordable and improve the quality and accessibility of care.
Investors include KPN Ventures, Menzis, Monuta, Topfonds Gelderland, Oost NL and several private investors. The fund is further supported by the Ministries of Health and Economic Affairs. Together, they are investing 6 million euros from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s Seed Capital Scheme.
The investors will be contributing their expertise and networks to the fund and the health start-ups in order to increase their chances of success.
Focus on innovation in healthcare
The Health Innovation Fund III will invest in companies that have developed new products to make healthcare smarter, better and more accessible. These can be software, hardware and service solutions, as long as they are directed towards prevention, diagnosis, treatment or cure or care monitoring. Joris van Eijck, Director Healthcare at Menzis, emphasizes the importance of innovation in healthcare:
“The application of new technology means, for example, that patients can live at home longer or receive care in their familiar environment, rather than in the hospital. Technology gives healthcare a fundamentally different form and creates value for patients.”
This third Health Innovation fund will also explicitly target e-Health solutions that foster self-management, self-monitoring and self-reliance. The first two funds have already made 18 investments in promising companies, including Prolira, LivAssured, Nightbalance, ANW Nederland, Noviosense and Aidence.
According to the partners involved, innovation is not only required for keeping healthcare affordable, but can also further improve the quality of healthcare. As important stakeholders in the sector, they want to accelerate this process. That’s why, in addition to making resources available, they will also utilize their expertise and network to support the start-up enterprises. Herman Kienhuis from KPN Ventures confirms this: “Digital technology offers enormous opportunities to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare and to increase people’s self-reliance, also in the case of illness and old age. KPN wants to take on an important role in this field and seeks out and supports young tech companies to jointly develop innovations, also through its partnership with the Health Innovation Fund III.”
The Health Innovation Fund III is managed by Utrecht-based Health Innovations. The fund is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Climate and by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. In December 2017, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency selected the fund for its SEED Capital arrangement by means of a tender process. Secretary of State Keijzer from Economic Affairs and Climate, responsible for financing: “The production of new medical devices, for example for making diagnoses or for carrying out complex medical analyses, is good for the quality of healthcare and for our economic development. Investing in e-Health benefits us all and especially the people who need this care. With the SEED Capital scheme, we are supporting innovative entrepreneurs who can develop these ideas.”