Funding for imaging AI companies tops $1.2B

2017 11 22 22 05 0130 Harris Simon 400

In 2018, capital investment in companies that are developing medical image analysis solutions enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) was almost $580 million. This was more than double the investment into such companies in 2017.

Simon Harris.Simon Harris.

Following the peak of new market entrants in 2015 and 2016, the amount of early-stage (angel, seed, and series A) investments has since declined. In 2018, investors appear to have shifted their focus to later-stage (series B and onward) investments, although the number of early-stage deals was still slightly higher than later-stage deals.

In 2019, we expect investors will favor the more established medical imaging AI companies, and early-stage funding will continue to decline.

HeartFlow is by far the most-funded company, followed by VoxelCloud and Infervision. Of the 84 companies that disclosed funding in the period 2014 to 2018, the average funding per company was $14.4 million ($9.2 million excluding HeartFlow).

In 2018, some of the largest funding rounds went to Asian companies. Excluding HeartFlow's $240 million series E round, Asian companies accounted for 42% of the $340 million invested in 2018. The table below shows the three most-funded companies in each region.

Most-funded companies by region
Company Country Funding Application
HeartFlow U.S. $476.6 million Cardiovascular
VoxelCloud U.S. $80.5 million General imaging
Arterys U.S. $43.7 million General imaging
Europe, Middle East, Asia
Zebra Medical Israel $50 million General imaging
Ultromics U.K. $16.2 million Cardiovascular
Brainomix U.K. $15.8 million Neurological
Infervision China $73.1 million General imaging
Deepwise China $50.6 million General imaging
12 Sigma China $31.8 million General imaging

Other key findings from our analysis include the following:

  • There are more than 120 start-ups developing artificial intelligence solutions for medical imaging.
  • Since 2014, these companies have received investments of more than $1.2 billion.
  • Funding continues to rise each year, with $580 million invested in 2018.

You can download our free funding analysis of the AI market.

Simon Harris is the managing director and a principal analyst at Signify Research, a health technology market intelligence firm based in Cranfield, U.K. He can be reached at [email protected]. The company's new report, "Machine Learning in Medical Imaging -- 2018 Edition," provides a data-centric and global outlook on the current and projected uptake of machine learning in medical imaging. The report blends primary data collected from in-depth interviews with healthcare professionals and technology vendors to provide a balanced and objective view of the market.

The comments and observations expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular vendor, analyst, industry consultant, or consulting group.

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