German health venture capital company Earlybird Health has raised $185m (€173m) to propel early-stage European healthcare ventures from initial stages to advanced technology nearing regulatory approval and commercialisation. 

The venture fund will focus on nurturing companies in various sectors such as digital health, diagnostics, medical devices, research and development tools, and biopharma. 

Several institutional investors in Europe participated in the fund, including the British Patient Capital, a commercial affiliate of the government-owned British Business Bank, and BARMER, a leading public health insurer in Germany. 

Earlybird will utilise its artificial intelligence (AI) platform named Earlybird Eagle Eye to identify promising startups and gather crucial insights. By offering market intelligence including competitor analyses and trend reports, the tool enhances companies’ deal flow.  

In the announcement accompanying the capital round, principal at Earlybird Christoph Massner said: “Eagle Eye will soon be the driver of a more effective, efficient, and inclusive deal sourcing and due diligence process for our investment teams. Earlybird Health is proud to set the standard for dynamic and informed deal flow in the European healthcare sector.” 

This follows uncertainty in the industry after two start-ups, Avail and Olive, closed their doors in November – signalling a potential end to the medtech Covid funding rush.  

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The same month, Dutch health investor Gilde raised $804m, reassuring investors in the medtech field. The company, which has raised more than €1.7bn over the past three years over several different funds, said it will use the money to focus on lower mid-market healthcare companies. 

Carrying on into this year, Goldman Sachs Asset Management closed its first life sciences fund in January raising $650m, called West Street Life Sciences I. Approximately $90 million has already been committed to five companies: MOMA Therapeutics, Nested Therapeutics, TORL Biotherapeutics, Septerna and Rapport Therapeutics with focus areas including precision medicine, immunotherapy, and AI-driven oncology, among others.