The IPO is expected for the start of the Montreal Dialogue

Ang Get started The Montreal company specializing in telemedicine, Dialogue, is due to debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday. Issuing 8.3 million common shares at a price of $ 12 will allow it to raise $ 100 million. In the short term, the company could benefit from the enthusiasm of investors for telemedicine, according to experts.

Dialogue’s IPO has been piloted in recent weeks by major Canadian institutions, including National Bank Financial, RBC Capital Markets, Scotiabank and TD Securities.

“There is no problem dialogue in seeking investment from the private sector,” said Jacques Bernier, co-founder and senior partner at Teralys Capital. Its IPO should enable it to obtain the necessary cash to “accelerate its development”, and also serve as “bargaining currency in the context of future acquisitions”, he said.

If, for example, the company had to pay $ 200 million to acquire a competitor, it could do so – in whole or in part – by exchanging shares. An advantage in a market that is set to consolidate, he says.

The current investor interest in technology companies in the markets is certainly no stranger to Dialogue’s IPO. “Public markets are attracting a lot of money now,” he said.

An example: the evolution of the American Teladoc Health title. Between 2015 and 2020, its value doubled. But in the past year alone, Teladoc’s stock value has risen; this has more than doubled since the pandemic began.

“We invested early in Teladoc and the profits have been impressive,” said Martin Lalonde, president of Rivemont, an investment fund manager. The evolution of the American title could be a good indicator of what awaits Dialogue in the coming months, as their business models are identical, he underlined.

The Montreal company actually opted for a B2B business model, that is, a commercial model between companies. So the dialogue signed contracts with large companies and established partnerships with major group insurance providers in the country: Desjardins, Great-West Life, SSQ Insurance, Sunlife. A strategy that allows it to reach nearly 2.5 million Canadians.

“Telemedicine is a big trend. With the challenges of staff retention and manpower shortages, large companies will certainly have a greater responsibility to ensure access to the health network of their employees,” he said. Mr. Lalonde.

An argument for attracting qualified workers? Yes, but not only, according to him. Research shows that telemedicine helps reduce absenteeism. In 2018, Dialogue’s pilot projects said its solution reduced absenteeism by up to 10%.

Strong trend

“What we’ve seen in the past year is less creation of new innovations than an accelerated adoption of existing technologies due to the pandemic,” said Jacques Bernier, of Teralys Capital.

The numbers strengthen him. The online networking service for healthcare professionals Doximity has had an interest in using these technologies in the United States. Observation: “More than 20% of medical visits will be made by telemedicine by 2020”, representing the equivalent of 30 billion US dollars. Researchers at Doximity predict that up to $ 106 billion of current U.S. healthcare spending could be virtualized by 2023.

During the pandemic, the number of Americans who said they attended at least one visit via telemedicine rose 57%, according to the Doximity study. Visits from people with chronic illnesses are said to have increased by 77%.

A shift towards telemedicine is being observed around the world, recalls Jacques Bernier: “We are seeing a trend increasingly shifting towards services offered by people – who are not doctors – who can provide primary care. is a trend that has been very strong for a very long time, but the pandemic has accelerated the phenomenon. »

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