Executive Search for Early-Stage Digital Health
I’m pleased to report some positive news after a tricky year for the digital health industry.
Silicon Valley Bank’s Healthcare Investments and Exits report noted that funding for early-stage Digital Health companies was slightly higher in 2022 than it had been in 2021 – a year that was atypical in terms of just how much money was raised. Strong showings from venture capital are part of the explanation for the early-stage uptick; the report notes that nearly $22 billion in new VC funds was generated last year for this sector, not far off the $28 billion raised in 2021.
It’s encouraging, therefore, to see early-stage companies continue to attract funding. Although they now are having to focus more of their attention on new hires particularly with investor pressure for revenue generation.
Within Venari Partners’ Healthtech practice, we’ve noticed a shift over the past few years – particularly in working with seed and Series A companies. Early-stage has garnered significant investment. ‘In fact, if you put it as a full-year number, it’s actually the highest it’s ever been’, says Jonathan Norris, business development MD at Silicon Valley Bank. Norris points to the reasonable valuations and ability to plan ahead in this field that have made it attractive to investors.
Last year, we saw an increase in demand from early-stage companies, as well as their investors, in exploring our services and working with us on new hires – not just for C-suite talent, but also at VP and Director level. Particularly commercial roles (including sales, marketing, customer success, and others), are all linked to the drive for increased revenue generation and profitability across the sector.
New ground for the industry
It is worth noting that seed and Series A companies have, historically, been slow to consider using Executive Search companies. Whether this is due to concerns around cost, structure, or trust, for one reason or another we’ve seen less engagement from early-stage companies – until recently. I’m pleased to report that we have built some very strong relationships with many early-stage founders and have established mutually beneficial arrangements.
For instance, Ed Likovich, CEO of Nymbl Science, admits that they hadn’t considered using Executive Search before Venari Partners was recommended to him. ‘Given the time-consuming nature of recruitment, particularly when you’re involved in fundraising, we found it hugely beneficial to outline our needs to Cristian and the team, letting them manage the whole process,’ he notes. ‘As a result, we hired an excellent Executive – and all within a matter of weeks.’
Consider Executive Search to meet your early-stage hiring needs
It is valuable for healthtech companies at this phase of development to have an outside influence on their side to help with communicating their brand and selling their story. It can be especially difficult for new and/or growing early-stage companies to attract the best talent unless they are particularly proactive.
At Venari Partners, we assist early-stage healthtech companies in the following areas:
Commercial Team Talent Mapping
Diversity & Inclusion
Interim/Fractional Talent Solutions
I would urge any early-stage Digital Health companies looking to scale effectively to consider using an Executive Search firm.