The fund is geared towards providing early-stage investment opportunities ranging from Seed to Series A funding rounds for startups operating across diverse sectors within the healthcare industry.
Initially, the fund will focus on areas such as predictive and preventative healthcare, genomics, home care, and remote monitoring, with the overarching objective of fostering a more personalized and integrated healthcare ecosystem.
The British-founded global non-profit health insurance fund has become increasingly engaged in the Australian and New Zealand startup scenes in recent years. This involvement follows the introduction of its global eco-Disruptive program in 2022, which Sydney-based startup Cassava Bags won. The programme awarded £200,000 (approximately A$390,000) to the winner, along with an initial $48,000 granted to finalists to develop their concepts.
Cassava Bags, among six local finalists in 2022, specialises in producing biodegradable and compostable bags made from the Cassava root, capable of dissolving in water within minutes. The company has also successfully raised over $760,000 through equity crowdfunding.
Nick Stone, CEO of Bupa APAC, stated that venturing into venture capital represents a natural progression for Bupa in expanding its innovation efforts. While actively seeking investment opportunities, founders can also submit their proposals for consideration through the Bupa Ventures website.
He went on to say that the pivotal role that the startups supported by the fund will play in shaping the future of healthcare. By accelerating innovations within the sector, these startups are anticipated to bring about meaningful advancements that benefit both Bupa’s customers and the wider community.
“Startups are agile and move quickly to solve problems that meet customer needs, supported by new technologies and design,” Stone said:
He continued: “We know we need to do more to modernise healthcare, we all have a role to play in delivering healthcare that is more personalised and less fragmented which places the patient at the centre,”
“Our teams across Bupa APAC are already working hand-in-hand with innovative startups to help us achieve our sustainability goals through our eco-Disruptive program; while simultaneously we have been growing our skills in artificial intelligence through hackathons and in-house learning academies,” he said.
Stone added: “We plan to give startups supported by Bupa Ventures working access to Bupa teams and resources so they can expand their offering into Bupa’s global customer-base which extends across five continents.”