Babylon Health, the U.K. based startup offering a number of AI-based health services, and a chatbot used by the U.K’.s National Health Service to help diagnose ailments, has secured a $550 million round of funding.
It plans to use the investment to swell its business to the U.S and Asia and expand its R&D to diagnose more serious and chronic conditions.
Babylon said that this is the largest-ever fundraise in Europe or U.S. for digital health delivery.
“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, in a statement. “This investment will allow us to maximise 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 localised to meet the specific needs and culture of each country.”
The funding round brought together a number of strategic and financial investors which include names like PIF, Munich Re’s ERGO Fund, and returning investors Kinnevik and Vostok New Ventures.
Till now, the company had raised only raised about £72 million and hence, this funding comes as a big leap for the company.
In addition to its work in the U.K., which includes an NHS service that it offers to “take over” a user’s local GP relationship to diagnose minor ailments remotely, it mentioned its other partners like Prudential, Samsung and Telus.
Babylon is also keen on introducing AI-based services that could lift some of the overhead of people managing problems which machines can do too. This will help in taking some of their pressure off the system. The purpose is to handle some of the smaller issues and help focus on more urgent and difficult problems for people and face-to-face meetings.