Venture capital investments in healthcare services totaled $523 million in this year's first quarter, nearly double the amount invested in the year-ago period, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Money Tree Survey.
A total of 68 companies received funding. Internet-related ventures attracted 52% of investments, down from a high of 68% in the previous quarter, according to the survey (See chart). While the total of healthcare venture capital jumped in the quarter vs. the year-ago period, the percentage of the nation's total venture capital funding going to healthcare services hit a new low since the survey began four years ago--3%, down from 3.3% in the previous quarter. Healthcare's percentage was at its highest in the fourth quarter of 1996, when the industry attracted 15.3% of all venture capital.
Total funding across all industries reached a new high of nearly $17.2 billion in this year's first quarter.
The five biggest healthcare services investments in the first quarter were Medical Logistics, a Totowa, N.J.-based provider of transportation and delivery services, receiving $70 million; HealthMarket Corp., a Norwalk, Conn.-based developer of online services for health insurance products on the World Wide Web, receiving $57 million; ParkStone Medical Information Systems, a Weston, Fla.-based provider of hand-held information systems for physicians, receiving $31 million; WellMed, a Portland, Ore., provider of online tools for personal health management, receiving $30.3 million; and GoToMyDoc.com, an Avon, Conn.-based provider of online services for obstetrician/gynecologists and pediatricians and their patients, receiving $25 million.