Babylon Health has achieved unicorn status after sealing $550 million (£454m) in fresh investment – sending its valuation to more than $2bn (£1.65bn).

The investment marks the largest ever fundraise in the European or US digital health delivery sector, Babylon claimed.

The digital health disruptor sealed $450m from Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, ERGO Fund of global reinsurer Munich Re, and existing Babylon shareholders Kinnevik AB and Vostok New Ventures.

Babylon also received investment from an unspecified US health insurer labelled “one of the largest” in the country.

Sky News reports this to be Missouri-based Centene Corporation, which it said had taken a $50m stake in Babylon.

Babylon said the funding would be used to continue its global expansion into the United States and Asia and “further deliver on its growth and innovation strategy, with proceeds focused on advancing its suite of products and pioneering AI technology into chronic care management”.

Dr Ali Parsa, founder and chief executive officer of Babylon, said: “Our mission at Babylon is to put accessible and affordable healthcare into the hands of everyone on earth. This investment will allow us to maximise the number of lives we touch across the world.

“We have a long way to go and a lot still to deliver. We are grateful to our investors, our partners and 1,500 brilliant Babylonians for allowing us to forge ahead with our mission.

“Chronic conditions are an increasing burden to affordability of healthcare across the globe. Our technology provides a solid base for a comprehensive solution and our scientists, engineers, and clinicians are excited to work on it.

“We have seen significant demand from partners across the US and Asia. While the burden of healthcare is global, the solutions have to be localised to meet the specific needs and culture of each country.”

The announcement from Babylon follows unconfirmed reports this week that it was set to receive investment of between $100m and $500m from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

The company has signed a number of high-profile deals to help aid its expansion outside of the UK, having sealed lucrative agreements with Samsung and China’s Tencent in 2018.

It launched fresh funding efforts earlier this year, hoping to clinch a further $400m investment in its artificial intelligence technology, which it has previously claimed matches human doctors in terms of diagnostic capability.

Babylon’s triaging system forms the foundation of the GP at Hand NHS service.

Despite having the (apparently unwavering) support of Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, Babylon has faced roadblocks in its attempts to shake-up primary healthcare in England.

Most recently, in June Babylon GP at Hand’s application to be a primary care network was temporarily approved. Swiftly afterwards, however, NHS England began a consultation on so-called digital first primary care, in a move that could have GP at Hand stripped of its license by next year.