Healthcare is a $4 trillion industry that is inviting disruption. Unsustainable cost trends, barriers to access, overly complex processes and a long list of pain points for patients and providers all make the industry ripe for change and new business models.
That's where the innovators come in. In the past three years, many young companies led the charge in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic landscape, from virtual care to data science to new ways to deliver home health.
From scrappy startups to private companies run by healthcare veterans, innovative companies continue to thrive despite the challenging market conditions.
Post-COVID, the market has been incredibly tough as interest and funding in the health tech space has waned. Increasing investor caution has dampened the market. Venture capital funding is projected to fall 65% from its $29 billion peak in 2021 to about $10 billion in 2023, according to Rock Health. In many ways, 2023 represented a market "reset" from the funding fever pitch two years ago.
Even among Fierce Healthcare's previous Fierce 15 honorees, we have witnessed the downfall of once high-flying companies. Healthcare automation company Olive, part of the class of 2021 honorees, folded its operations this year. Once a digital health unicorn, Truepill, which also made our 2021 list, has gone through multiple rounds of layoffs and closed pharmacies.
But, the long-term prospects for healthcare and health tech companies remain incredibly strong.
By the end of 2023, health tech venture funding is set to be six times greater than funding in 2012, according to Bessemer Venture Partners. And, you can't dismiss the transformational impact of artificial intelligence and the innovations that are yet to come.
So, we want to know what you're made of. Beginning today, we're opening nominations for our annual Fierce 15 honorees. 2024 will mark the sixth year we've highlighted private healthcare companies that are really looking to change the face of the industry.
The Fierce 15 celebrates the spirit of being “fierce”—championing innovation and creativity, even in the face of intense competition. The Fierce 15 selection represents many corners of the industry from health tech and AI-enabled software to health payers and primary care.
We want to showcase for our readers the newest ideas that could have a major positive impact on how they do business. That's what it means to be an honoree of the Fierce 15.
Take a look at some of our previous honorees. Home healthcare company CareCentrix, which made our 2022 list, was acquired by Walgreens in October. The retail drugstore giant shelled out $392 million to take full ownership of the company after a $330 million investment last year.
Several recent Fierce 15 honorees have already reached "unicorn" status. Incredible Health, a tech-enabled career marketplace for healthcare jobs, scored $80 million in fresh funding last year to help it scale and expand to more states, which vaulted its valuation to $1.65 billion. Glen Tullman's latest venture, Transcarent, which launched from stealth in March 2021 and made our Fierce 15 2022 list, landed $200 million in series C funding last year, propelling the company's valuation to $1.62 billion.
Women's health companies that have made the Fierce 15 lists continue to thrive. Maven Clinic, a 2019 honoree, reportedly became the first female-focused health startup to surpass a $1 billion valuation and now represents more than 15 million lives globally. Tia, which made our 2022 list, is growing rapidly and continues to nab partnerships with U.S. hospital systems to expand access to women's health.
2023 honoree Folx Health, a virtual provider focused on LGBTQ+ health, continues to chart strong growth and inked new payer partnerships to expand its services.
The editors at Fierce Healthcare have a strong track record of identifying the "fiercest" companies in the market.
Think your company has what it takes to make our 2024 list? Submit your nomination below by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 15.
Any questions? Contact Senior Editor Heather Landi at [email protected].