Mindbeacon raises $65 million on stock exchange
December 22, 2020
TORONTO – Tele-therapy company MindBeacon Holdings Inc. has gone public on the Toronto Stock Exchange, raising $65 million to fuel its growth. The shares were issued at $8 each, and closed on the first day of trading at $11.10, up 39%.
MindBeacon provides mental health therapy over the internet through its Beacon service. The company originally set out to raise $50 million in its initial public offering, which was underwritten by TD Securities, Credit Suisse Securities, Bloom Burton and Co., Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., Beacon Securities and Echelon Wealth.
The five-year-old Toronto company – led by veteran Bay Street financier Sam Duboc (pictured) – previously raised $38-million from backers including Green Shield Canada, Manulife Financial Corp. and Telus.
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a wave of growth for telemedicine companies, as the public are urged to stay at home as much as possible.
Canada’s two largest telemedicine service providers, Dialogue Technologies Inc. and Maple Corp., have each raised tens of millions of dollars this year and Dialogue has explored going public. Prices for shares of TSX-listed WELL Health Technologies Corp., which also provides virtual healthcare services, have more than quadrupled this year.
Duboc, who co-founded private equity firm EdgeStone Capital Partners as well as Air Miles parent LoyaltyOne Co., has been open about his past struggles with depression. In a letter included with MindBeacon’s prospectus, Mr. Duboc explained how the sudden death of his brother in 2011 led him to become “deeply depressed.” He struggled to find a good therapist and felt “stigma and discomfort with each appointment.”
Mr. Duboc wrote that he and his spouse, Claire, who co-founded MindBeacon, “feel that mental healthcare should be more accessible, and this idea started our journey that eventually led to MindBeacon.”
The Dubocs teamed up starting in 2015 with CBT Associates, a private Toronto provider of cognitive behavioural therapy to treat people with mental-health issues, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder – a form of treatment that Mr. Duboc has said helped him. They later formed MindBeacon to develop a digital service for patients to access practitioners remotely. CBT co-founder Peter Farvolden is chief science officer.