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CNBC's 15 Hot Healthcare Startups

Analysis  |  By Mandy Roth  
   November 02, 2018

Healthcare companies comprise 15% of the media outlet's annual list of 100 promising startups.

They're young, they're hot, and all eyes are on them. Fifteen healthcare companies made CNBC's Upstart 100 list of promising startups to watch. 

Innovation in healthcare is on the rise. Not only do some of these ventures have solutions that might appeal to health systems, they also may serve as models for innovation centers that are launching their own entrepreneurial ventures attempting to gain investors and market traction.

Among those on the list that might be of interest to health systems: a startup focusing on a digital app coupled with an AI-based assistant for diagnosis, a digital program for diabetes management, an app for booking same-day doctor appointments, data analytics for healthcare practices, a telemedicine platform for birth control and HIV prevention, microbe drugs that treat and prevent antibiotic-resistant diseases, and genetic sequencing and analysis of the microbiome targeting chronic-disease prevention.

CNBC's list of promising young start-ups, published on the media outlet's website, "features a diverse group of companies that are building brands and breaking industry barriers on the path to becoming tomorrow's household names. Selected from more than 500 nominees, each one was scored on eight equally weighted quantitative metrics."

CNBC says that more than 500 start-ups responded to its call for submissions, supplying information about the company's founders, investors, growth, recent milestones, and more—some of it off the record. To be eligible, companies had to be privately held and founded no earlier than Jan. 1, 2013. Companies also must have been pre-Series B in their funding and have raised no more than $50 million.

According to PitchBook, early stage investing has risen for seven straight quarters, climbing to $11.5 billion in the second quarter of 2018, with an average deal size of $18 million.

Healthcare is also performing well this year. According to Silicon Valley Bank, which released a 2018 mid-year report about healthcare trends and investments, U.S. healthcare venture fundraising reached $4.5 billion, and is on pace to closely match the 2017 record of $9.1 billion.

Healthcare companies making the CNBC list include (date listed is the founding year):

  1. Aira Tech: Smart glasses connected to human agents offering real-time help to the visually impaired, San Diego, 2015
  2. Buoy Health: A digital health app and AI-based diagnosis assistant, Boston, 2014
  3. Candid: Direct-to-consumer orthodontic products, New York, 2017
  4. Carrot Fertility: Fertility-benefits provider for employers, San Francisco, 2016
  5. Curology: Personalized acne care delivered via online consultations, San Francisco, 2014
  6. DocSynk: Data analytics for healthcare practices, Irving, Texas, 2015
  7. Geltor: Synthetic biology working towards a vegan gelatin replacement, San Leandro, California, 2015
  8. HabitNu: Digital program designed for diabetes management, Chicago, 2014
  9. Keeps: Healthcare company focused on male pattern baldness prevention and treatment, New York, 2017
  10. Nurx: Telemedicine platform focused on birth control and HIV prevention, San Francisco, 2015
  11. Quip: Electric toothbrush and dental-care service provider, New York, 2014
  12. RDMD: R&D service analyzing patient medical records to help drug companies develop rare disease treatments, San Francisco, 2017
  13. SciBac: Microbe drugs that treat and prevent antibiotic-resistant diseases, Burlingame, California
  14. SolvMobile: App for booking same-day doctor appointments, San Francisco, 2016
  15. Viome: Genetic sequencing and analysis of the microbiome targeting chronic-disease prevention, Bellevue, Washington, 2016


Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.

Photo credit: iStock Photo

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