Saudi wealth fund to invest in UK start-up

Start-upThe Public Investment Fund (PIF) is set to be a major investor in a controversial UK-based health tech start-up that provides a mobile app to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). A report in the Financial Times states that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is in advanced talks about an investment with Babylon Health that could range between $100 million and $500 million. The capital will be used to finance Babylon’s expansion. The PIF is the most high profile of Babylon’s venture capital investors so far that have helped it raise $60 million since 2017 and generate a valuation of $200 million. It is also the first time that the PIF has invested in a UK start-up. Babylon has attracted a share of negative publicity over its mobile app, GP at Hand. The app is used by the UK’s National Health Service to dispense medical advice to users as well as enabling them to schedule video appointments with doctors. But general practitioners in the UK have complained that the app has not only failed to accurately assess medical symptoms but has put additional financial strain on local NHS authorities because it has reduced the number of patients that register at clinics. ©2019 funds global mena

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