The Rise and Fall of Health Tech Startups: Lessons Learned

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Sep 08, 2023

3 min read


The Rise and Fall of Health Tech Startups: Lessons Learned


The health tech industry has seen its fair share of success stories and failures. While some startups have managed to secure significant funding and disrupt the healthcare landscape, others have faced challenges and eventually crumbled. This article explores two contrasting narratives in the health tech space: the fall of Babylon Health and the funding success of AI-enabled women's health startups. By analyzing these stories, we can uncover valuable insights and actionable advice for entrepreneurs in the industry.

The Fall of Babylon Health:

Once valued at nearly $2 billion, Babylon Health was a promising telehealth startup backed by prominent investors. However, the company's journey took a downward turn when concerns regarding patient safety and corporate governance were raised by a clinician in the U.K. In 2021, it was revealed that a U.K. medical regulator had also been sharing and acknowledging these concerns. This revelation tarnished the company's reputation and raised questions about its ability to sustain profitability. Ultimately, Babylon Health went bankrupt and was sold for parts. This cautionary tale highlights the importance of prioritizing patient safety and maintaining transparent corporate practices in the health tech industry.

Funding Success in AI-Enabled Women's Health Startups:

While Babylon Health faced a bleak fate, several AI-enabled women's health startups managed to secure significant funding deals. K Health, a primary care platform, raised $59 million in an undisclosed round, adding to its impressive total funding of $330 million. Herself Health, a primary care provider focused on women aged 65 and older, raised $26 million in a Series A funding round. Another notable startup, Uplift, raised $10.7 million in a Series A funding round. These success stories demonstrate the growing interest and potential in leveraging AI technology to improve women's healthcare.

Key Takeaways and Actionable Advice:

1. Prioritize Patient Safety and Corporate Governance:

The downfall of Babylon Health serves as a reminder that neglecting patient safety and corporate governance can have severe consequences. Health tech startups must establish robust protocols and ensure transparency in their operations to earn the trust of patients, regulators, and investors.

2. Leverage AI for Targeted Healthcare Solutions:

The success of AI-enabled women's health startups highlights the immense potential of artificial intelligence in driving innovation in healthcare. Entrepreneurs should explore leveraging AI technologies to develop targeted solutions that address specific healthcare needs, thereby attracting funding and gaining a competitive edge.

3. Build Strategic Partnerships with Venture Capital Firms:

The funding success of K Health, Herself Health, and Uplift can be attributed, in part, to their partnerships with venture capital firms. Startups should actively seek collaborations with investors who specialize in the health tech sector, as their expertise and networks can provide valuable guidance and funding opportunities.


The health tech industry is a dynamic and challenging space, where startups can experience both triumphs and failures. By learning from the fall of Babylon Health and the funding success of AI-enabled women's health startups, entrepreneurs can navigate the industry with greater knowledge and strategic foresight. Prioritizing patient safety, leveraging AI technologies, and building strategic partnerships are crucial steps towards building a successful health tech startup.

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