Authored by Daria Gherghelas, Felix Faltin for Speedinvest SaaS & Health
Digital Health in CEE: A sector waiting to be discovered
Central and Eastern Europe is a vibrant region that encompasses twelve countries as defined by the OECD – Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and we’ve also included five companies from Montenegro, Belarus and Moldova – and has about 318 million inhabitants. It is home to 661,187 developers and several startup success stories, such as UIPath, Avast or Telerik, to name just a few. It’s an extremely interesting ecosystem and still underexplored, so we’ve decided to shine a spotlight on Digital Health startups in the region (for broader real-time analysis of CEE startup activity, we recommend signing up to Marcin Szelag’s authoritative newsletter).
When it comes to Digital Health CEE has a lot of untapped potential. In our previous macro analysis of the European Digital Health ecosystem, we found that the CEE region ranked second to last in Digital Health VC funding. 92 Digital Health startups have been founded between 2010 and 2021, receiving a total of around €234m in VC funding. The region is undercapitalized and, at €500k, has the lowest median funding per startup in Europe. To put this in perspective, in the UK, the median funding amount per Digital Health startup is €12.3m, while it’s €9.4m in France and €8.7m for DACH.
But as an earlier analysis of ours pointed to, Digital Health in Europe has entered a huge period of growth and, as such, we expect to see a lot more activity in CEE in the future.
The data: 92 startups that shape the Digital Health ecosystem in the CEE region
The aim of this blog is neither to be exhaustive nor to rank startups, but rather to take a first stab at charting the main characteristics of the CEE Digital Health startup ecosystem. In line with our previous methodology for our geo-mapping, we’ve included both funded and unfunded companies that were founded in the last ten years. We’ve used Dealroom.co, Crunchbase and our own CRM as the main data sources.