Few events like the Covid-19 pandemic have made it clear that it is possible to build the future of medicine and healthcare when this goes hand in hand with technological progress; it is no coincidence that the biggest names in the field of information technology and consumer electronics are taking an ever more explicit interest in the health sector. Among these is Alphabet, the parent company of Google which has so far remained rather timid in its end-consumer endeavors, but which has actually been around for some time in financing of startups and businesses in the field of health tech.
Life sciences and health care
Founded in 2009 under the name of Google Ventures, GV represents the branch of Alphabet dedicated to strategic investments in various sectors not directly linked to Google’s primary business. It operates separately from the giant of search engines and other related companies, and among the sectors it prefers, the so-called life sciences and health care stand out. To make it clear it was the same company to Crunchbase News, specifying that to date an absolute majority of partners devotes his energies to at least one of the two sectors.
However, since the advent of the pandemic, the group seems to have pressed the accelerator on investment activities. Also according to data collected by Crunchbase relating to the medical sector, to date GV has conducted 76 rounds of funding that have collectively raised 4 billion dollarsparticipating in a total of 260. Of these rounds, as many as 25 were conducted in the last 2 years raising 1.6 billion, while the participations from 2020 to date have been over 100 compared to the total.
Where the investments go
For 2021 alone, GV’s active holdings amounted to 50, in the most varied fields. It goes fromprecision oncology of the US startup Treeline Biosciences at the emotional and behavioral health which is the goal of Brightline, passing through thegenetic editing by Prime Medicine. To resonate more with the period we are experiencing, however, there is the bet of Leyden Labs, which aims at a proactive approach in fight against known and unknown respiratory viruses.
The exit of 2021
2021 also further showed the path which potentially awaits startups and companies financed by Alphabet through its subsidiaries. Among the best-known cases of recent years stand out the acquisition of Flatiron Health by Roche for 1.9 billion dollars and the debut of One Medical on the stock exchange, while 2021 was the turn of a total of 20 exit.
The most striking related to the Alphabet portfolio are three. On the one hand, there is the acquisition of the biotech by the colossus Illumina for 3.5 billion dollars Grailwhich aims at techniques of cancer screening for asymptomatic patients; on the other hand, the arrival at the Nasdaq of Verve Therapeuticswhich he intends to put gene editing at the service of the fight against cardiovascular diseases, and of the British Vaccitechspecializing in the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious and oncological diseases.
A frenetic 2022
Regardless of the final outcome of Alphabet’s bets, it can be expected that investment activities will continue frenetic in the health tech sector in 2022 as well. economic availability of the group are only increasing: quarterly revenues have been growing for over a year now and the 2021 budget is preparing to mark revenues of approximately 250 billion dollars.
The multinational also is in a position that is unmatched when it comes to guess what the big trends could be of the near and distant future: billions of users every day use Google services, generating invaluable insights that internal analysts can exploit to understand in advance where the world is going and invest accordingly. In short, Alphabet’s attention to health tech is the result not of a fleeting passion, but of a substantial certainty: the future of medical progress it will be tracked by startups still non-existent or just bornwhich must be found and helped to express their value.