Social Impact Investment in health


Wintersemester 2019 - Uniqa Ventures


This report provides an analysis of social impact start-ups in health. The goal of this report was to identify three main research questions:

  • What characterizes social impact driven start-ups?

  • What impact/business model do they have?

  • What distinguished impact ventures in health from regular health related start-ups?


Therefore, primary and secondary research had to be carried out in order to answer the formulated research questions. The first part was a quantitative analysis on the topic of impact investment in health-related impact ventures. The European Investment Fund was used to identify suitable Impact ventures. With the help of an initial excel list of 120 impact ventures, provided by the institute, 25 health related impact ventures were found. The focus rested only on finding Impact ventures with regard to health-related models and services, which was used to expand our knowledge in this field.

The second part of the paper included expert interviews with CEOs from social impact ventures situated in Italy, the Netherlands and Germany. These interviews broadly explored the characteristics and differences from social impact ventures in health compared to regular health start-ups. The interviews emphasized the importance to find out rather these impact ventures can be classified philanthropic or private-for profit.


With 10% response rate and additional online research, we have gotten the data we needed to answer our research questions and to propose some hypothesis. All results of the extended analysis led to the fact, that generally, start-ups and social ventures in health differ in various areas. Even the actual investment focus is diverse, as impact ventures tend to concentrate more on rare diseases or unconventional problems and are often directed to developing areas.  Also, sustainability and the United Nation’s SDGs, especially SDG3 Health and Well-being plays a crucial role in the activities of such enterprises. Another reason of the distinction is the financial aspect. Impact investments rely more on creating a social and environmental value, while the monetary compensation remains secondary. For start-ups, generally, this financial aspect plays the most crucial role. Even if there is often a divergence between the two type of entities, it could also be the case that young start-ups develop into an impact investing enterprise, as it was visible in the case of the interviewed software trader CloudR.

Cooperation Partner

  • UNIQA Ventures GmbH
    Praterstrasse 1, Space 13
    1020 Vienna, Austria

Contact Person

  • Nikolaus Wrabetz

Student team

  • Sebastian Lembacher  

  • Livia Majdic

  • Jakob Ritter

  • Gabriella Panka Hevesi


  • MMag. Reinhard Millner

Back to overview