Horizons Newsletter – week 30 // 2021
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
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Healthcare funding is bubbling up
Digital health funding is up for a record year; depending on the source, the first half of 2021 is nearing or has even surpassed all of 2020’s funding. Moreover, the enthusiasm is not limited to the private market: in the first half of 2021, 11 companies debuted on the public market (2020: 7 companies). Most of investors’ interest can be explained from the COVID-19 boost that digital healthcare received. Instead of having to wait years to prove their solution works, eHealth companies matured almost overnight during the pandemic. With fresh funding in their pockets, M&A is up as well. Venture fund Rock Health reported an average of 22 acquisitions per month in 2021, compared to 12 monthly acquisitions last year. In such a market, talks of a bubble are a logical consequence. Nevertheless, instead of focusing on the bubble, consider the underlying trend: people have experienced how digital health works and they liked it. Even if the curve flattens as people return to visiting doctors and hospitals in person, telehealth, digital therapeutics, remote monitoring, wearable devices, and other health technologies are here to stay.
Broaden your horizon?
In this section we share content that may be of interest to you:
- This NYT long read describes how IBM’s vision for its AI business Watson evolved. It may not be the next big thing, but it is shaping up to become a solid business.
- At the end of July, it will be possible to buy a $6,000 share of Picasso’s Fillette au béret via the blockchain, as Swiss bank Sygnum tokenized the painting.
- Ofcom released its new Internet Futures report, identifying three emerging trends: personalization of experience, the increased introduction of cloud services and awareness of environmental sustainability.
Will podcast investments pay themselves back?
Last month, Spotify reportedly agreed to pay $60 million for comedian Alexandra Cooper’s Call Her Daddy podcast, while Amazon paid a similar amount ($60-80m) for the podcast SmartLess. Although not as much as Joe Rogan’s $100m deal with Spotify, it shows that companies are willing to pay high prices for podcast rights. Since no podcast is able to generate millions a year in ad sales, it remains to be seen how these investments will pay themselves back. Part of it might indeed come from ad revenues, which are forecasted to increase sharply. Subscriptions might be another source, following leading platforms (Apple and Spotify) putting up podcasts paywalls. Nevertheless, for most podcasters and even for the companies buying their rights, podcasts offer an incredible opportunity to expand audiences or find new ones. To get people to stick around, however, podcast services will need more than content, which is why Spotify, Amazon and others are buying podcast platforms such as Podz, ART19 and Pocket Casts. It will be interesting to see who will reap the benefits of these deals.