The fourth quarter of 2020 remained a challenging time for the economy worldwide, but global markets got a dose of optimism as several companies introduced vaccines for COVID-19.

CipherBio data shows that in 67 deals involving companies affiliated with top life science accelerators and incubators, nearly $2B was raised in Q4 2020, down from more than $2.5B raised in Q3 2020. As COVID-19 continues to demonstrate the sector’s vital role, life science companies spent Q4 2020 collaborating with investors and accelerators to fulfill their mission by bringing science, technology and capital together.

The CipherBio data platform leverages access to funding data across over 8,500 life science companies, over 4,000 investors and over 5,500 global fundraising announcements. We took a deep dive into the wealth of data we collect and aggregate in the CipherBio platform to explore how the most prominent life science accelerators and incubators fared in Q4 2020 and put those findings into a broader context by comparing them to the 2020 YTD.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS




Y Combinator


Startup Health


Matter Health






Lab Central


Indie Bio


Rosenman Institute


Illumina Accelerator


Figure 1: The List of Major Accelerators and Incubators (As Per the Number of Portfolio Companies). Date: 8th of March 2021

Top 3 Accelerators by Size Q4 2020


J&J Innovation – JLABS

About: Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) – is a global network of open innovation ecosystems, enabling and empowering innovators across a broad healthcare spectrum to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to patients around the world.
Q4 2020 Count: 557 portfolio companies, up from 538 in Q3 2020. Data as of Dec 31 2020
Breakdown: 340 biotech companies, 121 medical devices companies, 66 digital health/AI companies and 22 diagnostics companies. Data as of March 2021
Of note: Just as in Q3 2020, JLABS again saw three Series B deals in Q4 2020, But there was one major difference: Each of the three Q4 deals exceeded $100M.
See the Deals by selecting the J & J Innovation JLABS and Q4 2020 filters.


MedTech Innovator

About: MedTech Innovator is the largest accelerator of medical devices in the world. It is the medtech industry’s premiere nonprofit global competition and accelerator for medical device, digital health and diagnostic companies. Its mission is to improve the lives of patients by accelerating the growth of companies that are transforming healthcare.
Q42020 Count: 340 companies, holding steady in top three, portfolio growth expected after highly successful Q1 2021 application process. Data updated April 2021
Breakdown: 31 biotechs, 250 medical devices companies, 49 digital health/AI companies and 10 diagnostics companies. Data updated April 2021
Of note: It’s the world’s largest accelerator of medical devices, which likewise account nearly three quarters of its portfolio. MedTech Innovator’s largest deal of 2020 in Q4, a $91M Series C round, to a Palo Alto-based company.
See Who by selecting the MedTech Innovator and Q4 2020 filters.

Y Combinator

Y Combinator

About: Y Combinator (YC) is a startup fund and program. Since 2005, YC has invested in nearly 3,000 companies, including Airbnb, DoorDash, Stripe, Instacart, Dropbox and Coinbase. The combined valuation of YC companies is over $300B.
Q4 2020 Count: 338 companies, up big from 284 in Q3 2020. Data as of Dec 31 2020
Breakdown: 138 biotechs, 134 digital health, 45 medical devices, and 18 diagnostic companies. Data as of March 2021
Of note: Compared to Q3, YCombinator made fewer investments in Q4, yet Q4 saw deal representation in all four verticals and a return to diagnostic investment in two Series A deals.
See Who by selecting the Y Combinator and Q4 2020 filters.

The complete list of major life science accelerators and their respective company count is outlined in Figure 1 and can be seen on the CipherBio platform, filter on Q4 2020.

Largest 3 Q4 2020 Deals Involving Accelerator Portfolio Companies

Carsgen Therapeutics

CARSgen Therapeutics’s (J&J Innovation- JLabs) $186M Series C, led by Loyal Valley Capital, and backed by Lilly Asia Ventures, Shiyu Capital and others.


CityBlock Health’s (Startup Health) $160M Series C, a Startup Health portfolio company. Led by Kinivek AB, Maverick Therapeutics, Wellington Management, Redpoint,  Thrive Capital, Genera Catalyst.

Prometheus Bioscience

Prometheus BioSciences (J&J Innovation – JLabs) $130M Series B, jointly led by Eventide Asset Management and RTW Investments, and with involvement by Ascend Capital Group, Cormorant Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Point72 Ventures, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Nestle Health Science, Irving Investors, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Other sizable deals sealed during Q4 2020 are listed in Figure 2.

Top Deals in Q4 2020 Involving Accelerators Portfolio CompaniesFigure 2: Top Deals Involving Companies Associated with Most Active Accelerators (Q4 2020, excluding IPO deals).

Not Discovered the Power of CipherBio Insights Yet? We Are Going Even Bigger — Soon in 2021

One year ago, CipherBio introduced the Accelerator/Incubator data dashboard, the first Insight of its kind. Since then, we have used this original Insight — with its clickable filters that allow users to create lists of company deals — as a tool to gather member feedback and as the blueprint to further Insight expansion.

We’ve listened. And we are pleased and proud to announce the following as coming soon:

  • Premium Insights such as Neuro, Gene Therapy, Autoimmune Disease and others…
  • Drill-down by indication and approach
  • Drill-down by clinical phase Updated Quarterly
  • Export your investor lists as an .xls

Join us in our effort to capture the entire life science ecosystem in our database.

We strongly believe that the availability of a high-quality database about the life sciences ecosystem increases sector efficiency and benefits every company raising capital. Thus, if you are an investor or a startup in any of the relevant industries, we would like to extend an invitation to you to join the platform and or subscribe to the CipherBio insight newsletter.

Fill out your digital profile, or update it with your company’s latest news, so that you can be a part of the data set that represents the life science ecosystem.

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