Vision Fund strikes two China healthcare deals

SoftBank Group’s tech-focused private equity vehicle has backed Ping An Good Doctor and Ping An Healthcare Technology.

SoftBank Vision Fund, the giant investment fund that has so far raised $93 billion, has made its first foray into healthcare investments in China.

Capital raised from the Vision Fund was invested in the final pre-IPO round of financing of Ping An Good Doctor, in which it raised $400 million, according to a statement. Ping An Good Doctor is a medical service app backed by the Shenzhen-based insurer Ping An Insurance Group. The app has over 190 million registered users and 30 million monthly active users.

The Vision Fund also backed the A round financing of Ping An Healthcare Technology, which raised $1.15 billion from investors. Ping An Healthcare provides healthcare and business insurance management services to over 800 million people across 250 cities in China.

Financial details of the transactions were not disclosed.

While connected devices, robotics and the internet of things are the main investment areas favoured by the Vision Fund, its founder Masayoshi Son said in a media briefing in January last year that healthcare and life sciences are potential investment targets.

Healthcare-related investments in its current portfolio include Guardant Health, a Redwood City, California biotechnology company that develops products for early cancer detection, as well as New York-based biopharmaceutical company Roivant.

SoftBank Group corporate officer and head of finance unit Kentaro Matsui, who led the investments by the SoftBank Vision Fund, said in a statement that the fund sees “tremendous growth potential for China’s healthtech sector” and expects to fund expansion plans for Good Doctor and Ping An Healthcare.

According to a UBS healthcare report, China has been the most attractive market for private equity-backed investments in Asia, followed by Australia, India and Japan. By 2020, China and Japan will be two of the largest spender on pharmaceuticals, taking up 17 percent of global medicine spending distribution.