H|T: The Healthtech Times – How Y Combinator decides which health care startups are worth a shot

Plus: Silofit closes its doors, VoxNeuro raises $4.5M to scale brain performance.

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VoxNeuro raises $4.5 million CAD to scale brain performance software across US clinics (BETAKIT)

VoxNeuro, which develops software that measures brain performance, has raised $4.5 million CAD ($3.4 million USD) in all-equity funding as it looks to expand across the United States.

The startup’s chief business officer James Connolly told BetaKit the capital will go towards its sales and marketing efforts, partnerships, and continued development with institutions.

Halodoc scores $100M in Astra-led Series D funding (MOBIHEALTHNEWS)

Indonesian health tech company Halodoc has raised $100 million in a Series D funding round led by Astra Digital, a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate Astra International.

With over 20 million monthly active users on its platform, Halodoc provides online integrated health services, which include telemedicine, medicine ordering, and lab test appointment booking.


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National Bank acquires Silicon Valley Bank's Canadian commercial loan portfolio (BETAKIT)

The National Bank announced Aug. 1 an agreement to acquire the commercial loan portfolio of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) Canadian branch.

The portfolio is comprised of approximately $1 billion CAD in loan commitments, of which some $325 million CAD are outstanding. The assets will be integrated into National Bank’s Technology and Innovation Banking Group, under the leadership of Tuyen Vo, head of this group since 2019.

Verily hires former Apple Health leader Andrew Trister as chief scientific officer (STAT)

As Verily aims to get on track, the Alphabet life science company has hired Andrew Trister, an oncologist and veteran of big technology companies and research, as its new chief scientific officer.

Trister will lead Verily’s population health initiatives, including public health solutions like the company’s ongoing work to combat disease-carrying mosquito populations and a program that helps wastewater treatment plants monitor for pathogens.

Canadian startup struggles continue as Silofit closes up shop, Top Hat and Fable cut staff (BETAKIT)

More Canadian technology startups have made the difficult decision to cut costs or close down amid a sector-wide downturn.

Just this week, Silofit officially closed its doors and Fable announced that it laid off employees. Top Hat has also reduced its headcount, BetaKit has learned. This trio is far from alone.

Glasgow university spinout raises $43mn to ‘digitise chemistry’ (FINANCIAL TIMES)

Chemify, a spinout from Glasgow university, has raised $43mn to “digitise chemistry”, using a computing process that runs continuously from designing new molecules with artificial intelligence to making them in an automated lab.

Computerised chemical design is now well established, as AI drug discovery makes rapid progress in the pharmaceutical industry. What makes Chemify stand out, according to Cronin, is the way its “chemputer” technology extends to manufacturing the newly invented molecules.

Experienced developers share their career advice for young professionals (BETAKIT)

Growing as a developer is about more than finding new ways to ship code.

BetaKit spoke with two leaders–Ricardo Maldonado, a Development Lead at Calgary-based Suncor, and Betheena Elgincolin, Senior Technology Architect at TELUS–about their careers and what advice they would share with junior colleagues.

Canadian venture status report: Q2 2023 (BETAKIT)

New data from briefed.in gives an optimistic outlook on the venture health of Canada's biggest tech ecosystems in Q2 2023.

Following a sluggish start to the year, Toronto and British Columbia's tech ecosystems saw a resurgence in venture funding in the quarter, mostly due to larger deals between fewer companies. 

Alberta tech is on pace to eclipse its 2022, with companies raising a lively $123.8M in Q2 2023. Québec followed suit, maintaining an upward trajectory in the quarter, growing 42 percent from Q1 2023 and 81 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, venture deal volume in the Waterloo Region reached a three-year low in the second quarter of 2023, but unreported deals could be shaping an unfair perception of the local tech sector.

TytoCare Rakes In $49M for Its Virtual Care Platform (MEDCITYNEWS)

TytoCare made the call to lay off about 10% of its workforce last month, but investors don’t seem to be viewing this as a sign of weakness — the New York City-based firm raised $49 million in growth financing on Thursday, taking its total funding to date to $205 million.

TytoCare’s Home Smart Clinic promises to give providers and health plans the range of products and services needed to operate successful virtual primary care programs.

Graphite Ventures closes $110-million Fund IV as firm builds its national presence (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Graphite Ventures has reached $110 million CAD in the final close of its Fund IV as the firm continues to expand its reach beyond Ontario to startups Canada-wide.

While Graphite is industry agnostic, it concentrates investments in B2B SaaS, FinTech, digital health, and “capital-efficient hardware” with many companies using AI and machine learning.

Amwell downgrades revenue outlook, takes $27M hit from impairment charge (FIERCE HEALTHCARE)

Amwell trimmed its 2023 revenue outlook as it faces some headwinds in converting customers to its new technology platform and saw its net losses balloon in the first half of the year.

Amwell posted a nearly $400 million net loss in the first quarter driven by a hefty impairment charge of $330 million as a result of its stock market performance and "associated market capitalization." The company's losses have grown to $492 million in the first half of 2023.

Sun Life Canada to acquire Dialogue Health Technologies (BETAKIT)

Dialogue will maintain its head office in Montréal and operate as a standalone entity as part of Sun Life Canada. The management team, including founding shareholders CEO Cherif Habib and CTO Alexis Smirnov, will roll a portion of their equity ownership and remain in their current roles.

The total equity value of Dialogue is $365 million CAD on a fully diluted basis (or $277 million for equity not currently owned by Sun Life or rolled by certain members of Dialogue’s executive management).

How Y Combinator’s only health care partner decides which startups are worth a shot (STAT)

For Surbhi Sarna, the first and only health care partner at Y Combinator, opening her inbox every morning is like drinking from a firehose. The next big LLM, ventures based on student research, reversing global warming, she's seen quite a bit.

It seems like every young tech company is vying for a coveted place in the Silicon Valley accelerator. To score that spot, entrepreneurs focused on health tech or science first have to spark Sarna’s interest.

Vital Bio reveals blood-test solution with funding from OpenAI, Salesforce CEOs (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Vital Biosciences has revealed its desktop blood-testing solution this week, following the wave of startups developing solutions to make diagnostics more accessible in the wake of the high-profile collapse Silicon Valley’s Theranos.

According to Vital, it has raised $48 million in funding to date with backing from a number of notable leaders in tech, such as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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