Maple said to be readying a public offering
March 24, 2021
TORONTO – Maple Corp. one of Canada’s leading virtual healthcare companies, is getting ready to join other Canadian virtual health care startups on the public markets, according to a report this week in the Globe and Mail.
Maple, co-founded in 2015 by CEO Dr. Brett Belchetz (pictured), a former emergency-room physician, has hired TD Securities, RBC Capital Markets and CIBC World Markets to lead an expected $100-million initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange by summer, according to two sources familiar with the process, the Globe report said.
Meanwhile, Montreal-based Dialogue Health Technologies Inc., is also readying an offering on the public markets. Dialogue priced its $100-million offering at the top end of its $9-to-$12-a share range after receiving more than $1-billion worth of orders from investors. The stock is expected to start trading next week.
That follows another well-received offering by Toronto’s MindBeacon Holdings Inc., a smaller and earlier-stage company, which offers online mental-health services. MindBeacon, led by Bay Street veteran Sam Duboc, raised $65-million in a highly oversubscribed IPO in December.
Like Dialogue, Maple experienced rapid growth last year as the pandemic prompted a sharply higher adoption of healthcare services delivered over the internet. As of last September, Maple was handling thousands of online appointments daily, up from fewer than 300 a year earlier, while revenue was running at an annualized rate of $25-million, up more than fourfold from the same point in 2019.
Maple’s has a strategic relationship with a recent investor, Loblaw Cos. Ltd., which has invested heavily in healthcare since buying the Shoppers Drug Mart drugstore chain in 2014 – it also bought an estimated 20-per-cent to 25-per-cent stake in Maple, giving it a valuation of almost $300-million.
Shoppers partnered with Maple a year ago, as the pandemic spread across Canada, to make virtual consultations available through the retailer’s website.
It then launched a test in British Columbia in August, offering access to Maple services on iPads in 160 stores. Shoppers president Jeff Leger told The Globe and Mail in August that he believed the pandemic spurred on “a tipping point in terms of how health care is accessed in Canada.”
More recently, Green Shield Canada Group began offering its more than one million plan members free access to Maple’s platform in November, and Saa Dene Group, a collective of Indigenous-owned companies, made Maple’s mental- and physical-health services available to underserved Indigenous communities.
Last month, Unilever Canada expanded a pilot program for its employees to access doctors over Maple’s platform around the clock.
Maple previously raised $14.5-million from Royal Bank of Canada, Acton Capital of Germany and SE Health in 2019.