London-based Babylon Health took its name from the ancient city of Babylon, where almost 2500 years ago citizens would gather in the town square to share medical advice, thus enjoying the longest life expectancy in the world at the time. Babylon Health’s mission is to democratize healthcare for the digital age, with its app that provides free health checks, allows you to consult a doctor 24/7, and have prescriptions delivered, making healthcare more affordable and accessible for people everywhere. The startup sentimentally refers to its users as “Babylonians”.
Founded in 2013, Babylon has now raised €495 million Series C in the largest round to date for a European or US digital health delivery startup, bringing its valuation to over €1.8 billion.
The new unicorn plans to use the funding for extensive product innovation to cover chronic conditions, and to expand into the US and Asia.
Since its last funding round in 2017, Babylon has scaled considerably, creating an end-to-end platform for AI-driven health services and virtual medical consultations, complemented by face-to-face consultations. The startup now counts 4,000 clinical consultation a day, with one patient interaction every 10 seconds, and its model has shown to improve access to high-quality healthcare at a lower cost in both developed and emerging markets. Babylon has also secured contracts with global partners including Prudential, Samsung, Telus, Bupa and the UK’s NHS.
Babylon saw new strategic investors participate in the mega-round, including PIF, one of the world’s largest sovereign funds; ERGO Fund of global reinsurer Munich Re; and existing Babylon shareholders Kinnevik AB and Vostok New Ventures.
“Our mission at Babylon is to put accessible and affordable healthcare into the hands of everyone on earth,” said Dr Ali Parsa, founder and CEO of Babylon. “This investment will allow us to maximize the number of lives we touch across the world. We have a long way to go and a lot still to deliver.
“We are grateful to our investors, our partners and 1,500 brilliant Babylonians for allowing us to forge ahead with our mission. Chronic conditions are an increasing burden to affordability of healthcare across the globe. Our technology provides a solid base for a comprehensive solution and our scientists, engineers, and clinicians are excited to work on it.
“We have seen significant demand from partners across the US and Asia. While the burden of healthcare is global, the solutions have to be localized to meet the specific needs and culture of each country.”