Investment in the health sector in Catalonia is beating the record for 2019

A total of 120 million euros in the first nine months thanks to the growth of foreign venture capital 

Foreign venture capital has further increased its commitment to the life sciences and health sector in Catalonia. In the first nine months of 2020, these types of funds have increased their investments in health-related startups by 67.1%,according to the BioRegión 2020 Report produced by Biocat y CataloniaBio & HealthTech.

This growth has made foreign venture capital the main driver of investment growth in this sector. By September, investment had already surpassed the total of 112 millones de euros for 2019. Three months before the end of the year, Catalan companies in the sector have already received capital inflows of over 120 million euros.

International drive
For the first time, Catalan health and medical companies have managed to draw over 50 million euros in investments by foreign venture capital. A remarkable feat given the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, as is stressed in the report. This is great news for a sector that employs 230,000 people in the region and provides 7.3% of its GDP.

In total, venture capital funds contributed €80.2 million in funding rounds carried out between January and September, 46.3% higher than 2019. There were 25 funding round for these investments, 8.7% of the total rounds which were the target for these funds last year.

Other investment vehicles
Foreign venture capital has mainly been from Europe and the United States, and accounts for one in every four funding rounds arranged. Foreign investment has also poured into other vehicles such as the stock market and crowdequity, which, together with venture capital, have taken the total to 105.37 million euros.

This is the first time that foreign investment has surpassed 100 million euros in a single year in this sector. A fact that cements Catalonia's position as the southern European region that has attracted the most foreign investment since 2016, as indicated in the Financial Times fDi Markets database.

Main transactions
Two biotech companies were two of the largest recipients of foreign funds: Ona Therapeutics, which received 30 million euros, and Oryzon, with 20 million. Neos Surgery, from the Medtec area, with 4 million, and Qida, specialized in digital health, with 3.6 million, come next.

Although it is some way off the biggest transactions, the fact that Qida has appeared in this ranking clearly shows the rapid growth currently experienced in the digital health industry. In five years, the number of companies in this area has increased twofold to 180 in 2019. And having drawn 5.1 million euros in funds in 2016 and 18.8 million in 2019, they are clearly on the up.