December's 4 Standout Health-Tech Investments

Start-ups, venture capital funds, and research centers, oh my.

The role of cutting-edge technologies in healthcare is charming investors. Indeed, as deep-pocketed Silicon Valley funders see the marriage of the 2 sectors grow, it provides hope not just for their bottom line but for the world at large. And that power combo has meant big paydays for start-ups and other institutions alike.

This month has been no different. From a new venture capital fund to an up-and-coming blockchain business, money spread across the sector, and Healthcare Analytics News™ documented the major moves that have the potential to fuel tomorrow’s breakthroughs and prevailing industry knowledge.

Here are the investment stories that resonated with our audience of healthcare and tech decision makers.

Andreessen Horowitz launches a $450 million bio fund geared toward tech. The famed Silicon Valley venture capital powerhouse is not merely interested in artificial intelligence and other shiny, new technologies. It is putting money behind companies that can “engineer biology.” Its new bio fund aims to turn biology into a discipline that seeps into every other industry, and it follows a similar $200 million fund announced in 2015.

$50 million provides the foundation for a new precision medicine institute. The University of Washington Medicine formed the institution, which will also involve the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The forward-thinking facility, the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine, is named in honor of the founder of Costco and a childhood friend.

The pharma analytics firm Bigfinite scores $8.5 million in seed money. “The algorithms used by the platform to find relationships between data, combined with the power of the big data analytics and AI, enable our customers to discover new optimization paths,” the company wrote of its data platform. Crosslink Capital, Uncork Capital, and La Famiglia led the funding round.

A new blockchain health-tech company gets $3.5 million. Blockchain is all the rage right now, but no one in healthcare has found and scaled a stunning use of the technology yet. Curisium hopes to change that, targeting payers, providers, and life sciences companies. The start-up impressed the pharma giant Sanofi enough to get some green from its investment arm.