Healthcare tech platform Doctolib reaches $6.4 billion valuation

French startup Doctolib has announced that is has raised a new funding round. With this round, the company has reached a valuation of €5.8 billion, or $6.4 billion at today’s exchange rate. That makes Doctolib the highest valued French startup.

The startup says it has raised $549 million (€500 million) in both equity and debt. Eurazeo is leading the round, with Bpifrance and General Atlantic also participating in the round — they already invested in the company’s previous rounds.

In case you’re not familiar with Doctolib, the company’s main product is a software-as-a-service platform for doctors and medical workers. The company wants to help them tackle admin tasks. In particular, Doctolib acts as a booking platform that connects doctors with patients; 60 million people have used it in France, Germany and Italy.

With today’s funding round, the company plans to grow from 2,500 employees to 6,000 employees over the next five years. Doctolib relies on a vast network of offices in major and mid-sized European cities so that they can talk with doctors all around France, Germany and Italy. Doctolib plans to operate across 30 cities.

In January, Doctolib talked about its roadmap for 2022 and beyond. The company plans to create a suite of products and expand beyond appointment booking.

And the company has already added some new SaaS products, just like Salesforce is always iterating on its suite of products. In addition to a telehealth add-on, the startup has a product called Doctolib Médecin that can help you centralize documents, see a patient’s history, take notes and issue invoices.

With Doctolib Team, the company is creating an instant messaging service for health professionals. They could use the service to securely talk about patients and send documents.

As Doctolib operates in a highly sensitive industry, the company has also been investing in security and privacy. Doctolib acquired Tanker, as I first reported. Tanker is a turnkey solution that helps you enable end-to-end encryption in a medical application.

Overall, 300,000 healthcare workers are using Doctolib — not all of them pay for a monthly subscription. The startup also works with 250 public hospitals. And if you’re living in France, you know that Doctolib has become ubiquitous.

Healthcare tech platform Doctolib acquires encryption startup Tanker

French startup Doctolib is expected to close the acquisition of Tanker today based on regulatory filings. Doctolib is a French unicorn that develops a software-as-a-service product to help doctors and medical workers with admin tasks. In particular, Doctolib acts as a booking platform that connects doctors with patients. 300,000 health professionals pay for the service and 60 million people have used it in Europe.

Tanker helps healthcare tech companies secure user data. The startup has developed a protocol as well as client-side development kits that can be integrated in a web app, a mobile app or a desktop app.

After you add Tanker to your product, messages and files that are shared between patients and health professionals are end-to-end encryption. Tanker and its customers can’t decrypt files or messages as it doesn’t have access to the private encryption key. In other words, if you’re not the sender nor the recipient, you can’t decrypt the data.

With a focus on the healthcare industry, Tanker lists Doctolib, healthcare insurance startup Alan and telehealth startup Qare as its customers on the company’s website. In June 2020, Doctolib announced that it added end-to-end encryption thanks to a partnership with Tanker

A source sent me a regulatory filing from January 3rd, 2022 with details on the transaction between Doctolib and Tanker. A previous regulatory filing from December 22nd, 2021 also mentions the acquisition. You can view both of these documents on Pappers.

“Doctolib plans to acquire the shares of the company named Tanker,” a lawyer writes in a letter. “This transaction would be conducted based on the terms of the agreement protocol signed on December 9th, 2021, which involves transferring 100% of the shares of the capital of the company Tanker for the benefit of Doctolib.”

The most recent filing mentions January 11th, 2022 as the closing date for the transaction, which is today. Another source told me that the acquisition was currently happening. We have reached out to Doctolib, but received a “no comment” on the matter.

Based on the legal documents, Doctolib is acquiring Tanker in a cash and stock transaction, which would value Tanker at $28 million to $34 million (€25 million to €30 million).

The valuation enigma

Yesterday, I wrote about Doctolib’s press conference on its most recent metrics and upcoming product releases. Interestingly, Doctolib co-founder and CEO Stanislas Niox-Chateau said they “have stopped communicating on funding rounds for the past several years. Every quarter, every year, investors invest once again or invest for the first time based on our long-term project.”

Back in 2019, the company said that it had reached a valuation of $1.13 billion (€1 billion). That’s the last time Doctolib talked about funding rounds.

But that’s not the most recent funding round. For instance, as Charlie Perreau spotted, General Atlantic invested $69 million (€61 million) in the company back in February 2020.

As for the company’s valuation, based on Tanker’s acquisition, each Doctolib share is worth €170.91. There are currently around 18 million Doctolib shares, which means that Doctolib could be valued at roughly €3 billion ($3.4 billion).

That valuation seems low given Doctolib’s customer base (300,000) and Doctolib’s starting price (€129 per month). Maybe Doctolib’s shares were a bit undervalued as a nice gesture for Tanker investors. Maybe Doctolib hasn’t raised in a while and is about to raise at a higher valuation. It remains an enigma for now.

Doctolib is now used by 300,000 doctors and medical workers

French startup Doctolib held a (virtual) press conference this morning to share some metrics, look back at the company’s recent product launches and give a hint about future investments. Doctolib started as a booking platform for doctors and has expanded to other services for doctors and medical workers in general.

With its software-as-a-service strategy, medical workers pay a monthly subscription to use Doctolib’s tools and use them with their patients. And it’s been working well as 300,000 medical workers currently pay Doctolib every month — general practitioners, dentists, pharmacies, psychologists, etc. With a subscription price starting at €129 per month, the startup has a monthly recurring revenue ranging in the tens of millions of euros.

2021 has been a pivotal year for the company as the platform has reached a critical mass in France. For instance, when you want to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in France, many people visit Doctolib’s website to find the nearest vaccination center, pharmacy or doctor with free slots. Vaccination places can use other platforms, but in reality most of them use Doctolib to handle bookings.

Doctolib currently operates in France, Germany and Italy. France is still the company’s main market. 60 million people have used Doctolib so far — most of them have interacted with the service to book an appointment. In 2022, the company predicts that it’ll work with an additional 100,000 medical workers.

Creating a suite of products

Now that Doctolib has a commercial relationship with a ton of doctors, it can release new products and build its suite of services. In many ways, Doctolib is following Salesforce’s strategy. It has a very sticky main product that acts as a springboard for other products.

A couple of years ago, the company launched remote appointments with a telemedicine add-on. Doctors who choose to pay a bit more can start video calls and use Doctolib’s payment systems for remote appointments.

Last year, Doctolib launched Doctolib Médecin. It’s a back-office tool for administrative tasks. For instance, it lets you centralize documents for each patient, see a patient’s history, take notes and issue invoices.

“We started working on it three years ago. We thought we would start from scratch compared to what’s available,” Doctolib’s Managing Director of France Arthur Thirion said. “It is being used by a bit more than 2,000 doctors right now.”

Of course, this isn’t the first product that helps you manage your work as a doctor. But it integrates nicely with the rest of the Doctolib ecosystem.

Similarly, Doctolib wants to increase the network effects of its platform with a new service called Doctolib Team. This time, the company doesn’t want to create a new revenue stream, it wants to make Doctolib essential.

Doctolib Team is an instant messaging service that lets you find specialists and chat with them. You can also securely send documents about your patients.

For health professionals already using Doctolib, it’s a nice-to-have feature. For health professionals who aren’t using Doctolib already, they can create a free Doctolib Team account and start using it — and maybe they might subscribe to Doctolib’s other products down the road.

Image Credits: Doctolib

Operating with a high level of scrutiny

Doctolib isn’t your average startup as the company handles sensitive, medical data. There have been a lot of reports on the company’s hosting stack and design decisions.

And the company is well aware that it can’t act like other startups. For instance, the startup reached unicorn status, but it has stopped sharing funding details since then. You don’t want to talk too much about money when you’re trying to improve everyone’s health.

“We have stopped communicating on funding rounds for the past several years,” co-founder and CEO Stanislas Niox-Chateau said. “Every quarter, every year, investors invest once again or invest for the first time based on our long-term project.”

Doctolib now wants to become a mission-driven company — it’s a special status that you can get if you comply with certain rules. And Stanislas Niox-Chateau founds multiple arguments to position his company as a company that improves society.

For instance, he said that Doctolib’s business model is quite clear — the company relies exclusively on subscriptions from health professionals. The company doesn’t monetize patient data.

According to him, the platform is also used widely and doesn’t create a digital divide. Many users don’t live in major cities for instance. And the product is supposedly easy enough that even elderly people can use it.

But that doesn’t mean that the company plans to stand still. It has ambitious expansion plans for 2022. Doctolib will grow its team from 2,300 employees to 3,000 employees. And starting today, all employees will become Doctolib shareholders. Everyone will get at least €20,000 in stock grants.

In 2022, the company plans to invest €300 million to improve its products and grow its platforms in France, Germany and Italy — it mostly means new hires and new offices. There won’t be any new market launch in 2022, but that might come later down the road.

Doctolib shares some metrics on video consultations

French startup Doctolib is sharing some metrics on its video consultation feature. While the startup first started as a way to help doctors manage appointments and let them accept online appointments, the company has been taking advantage of its huge community of health professionals to add video consultations on top of that.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, users have booked 2.5 million online appointments in France and Germany. More than 31,000 physicians offer video consultations and 872,000 patients have used the service at least once over the past five weeks.

Usually, Doctolib charges practitioners a monthly fee to access the service and use it to replace their calendar. Practitioners can choose to pay an additional €79 per month ($90) on top of their standard Doctolib plan to start accepting remote appointments.

During the epidemic, the startup has chosen to waive video consultation subscription fees. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also a great way to convince more practitioners to start accepting remote appointments.

The result is explosive growth. Doctolib jumped from 1,000 to 100,000 video consultations per day in just a month. The good news is that it isn’t just for young people — 28% of users who book an online appointment are 55 years old and beyond.

Those appointments comply with France’s national healthcare system. Patients get reimbursed just like a normal appointment. But there are some legal restrictions. Usually, you can’t book a remote appointment and get reimbursed if the doctor doesn’t know you already.

But that restriction has been lifted during the lockdown. Let’s see if the momentum will hold when the national healthcare system puts back some limits on video consultations.

Middle East healthcare platform Vezeeta raises $40M Series D led by Gulf Capital

Vezeeta, a healthcare platform operating in the Middle East and Africa, has raised a $40 Million Series D funding round led by UAE-based Gulf Capital, alongside further investment from existing Riyadh-based investor Saudi Technology Ventures (STV), which previously led Vezeeta’s Series C round in September 2018. Vezeeta’s other investors include BECO Capital, Silicon Badia, Vostok New Ventures, Crescent Enterprises’ CE-Ventures and Endeavour Catalyst. Prior to this fund-raise, the company had raised $23M, so this latest news takes its total to $63M. Alvaro Abella, a director at Gulf Capital, joins the board.

It now plans to roll out new products, such as an online pharmacy, as well as ‘tele-health’ services across its existing footprint and new markets.

This is one of the largest funding rounds of any tech startup in the Middle East and Africa to date. The startup has become something of a MENA success story by allowing patients to effectively see Uber -style ratings for healthcare providers, thus encouraging the providers to improve their services. It puts the power in the hands of patients (vs providers) by giving them the ability to search, book, rate, and review healthcare providers.

US-based ZocDoc, which has raised $223M, has done something similar, moving away from a B2B towards a B2C transactional-based model. Other competitors globally include Practo, Doctolib (which raised $266.7M) and Docplanner.

Launched initially in Cairo in 2012 as a sort of “Uber for Ambulances”, Vezeeta has gradually reversed into Middle Eastern healthcare systems to provide a free of charge medical search platform for end-users by integrating information about medical practices and doctors’ individual schedules. Currently operating in 50 cities across Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon, the platform generates 4 Million annual appointments, and claims to have tripled in size year over year.

In a statement, Amir Barsoum, founder and CEO of Vezeeta said: “Gulf Capital provides us the perfect synergy for our future plans to diversify and expand our product portfolio on a global scale… Leveraging our technology, we have helped patients tap into the power of choice, and the power of information, to access the kind of healthcare that our users deserve.” He said the company plans to use the cash to expand its product portfolio to several regional markets.
Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital said: “Empowering patients and their families through technology to give them better access to healthcare services and more meaningful and manageable relationships with their healthcare providers has never been more important. We were impressed with the work that Amir and his team were doing and are excited to be working with Vezeeta on its next phase of growth.”

Ahmad AlNaimi, senior principal at STV said: “The progress the company has achieved since our investment, especially in Saudi, is incredible. We are thrilled to double down on our position and to welcome Gulf Capital to the table.”

Vezeeta reaches around 4 million patients across 4 countries, enabling them to search, book and review doctors and medical services. It also provides a SaaS solution to more than 30,000 healthcare providers.

The year of the French unicorns

In September 2019, President Emmanuel Macron was about to wrap up a speech on late-stage investment in France. According to a press briefing and some discussions with a source, everything that he was supposed to announce had been announced.

But he dropped an unexpected number. “I’ll leave you with a goal: there should be 25 French unicorns by 2025,” Macron said. A unicorn is a private company with a valuation of $1 billion or more.

When you mention France in a conversation with foreigners, they don’t immediately think about startups. In December 2018, I covered a two-day roadshow of the French tech ecosystem with 40 partners of international venture capital firms, as well as limited partners, from Andreessen Horowitz to Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures and more.

The same clichés came up again and again — taxes, labor law, long lunches… You name them. But it doesn’t matter if those clichés are true or not (hint: They aren’t), the French tech ecosystem has been thriving. And 2019 has been a remarkable year when it comes to reaching unicorn status and raising late-stage rounds of funding.

A new group of unicorns

According to a recent report from VC firm Atomico, there are 11 unicorns in France. Some of them have been around for years, such as BlaBlaCar (a ride-sharing marketplace for long distance rides), OVHcloud (a cloud hosting company), Deezer (a music streaming service) and Veepee (an e-commerce company formerly known as

But in 2019 alone, a handful of companies have reached unicorn status. Here are a few examples.

Doctolib is now a unicorn with new $170 million round

French startup Doctolib has raised a new round of funding of $170 million (€150 million). The round is led by General Atlantic, with existing investors Accel, Eurazeo, Kernel and Bpifrance also participating. Some German healthcare entrepreneurs are also joining the round — the company isn’t detailing the names of those investors.

But Doctolib is detailing an important metric — its valuation. Based on this new round, Doctolib now has a post-money valuation of $1.13 billion (€1 billion). There’s a new unicorn in town.

Doctolib first started with a scheduling service for health practitioners. For €109 per month ($124), you can replace your calendar with Doctolib and let the startup take care of your week. Patients can book an appointment on Doctolib’s website and everything stays in sync between your own calendar and your public calendar.

More recently, Doctolib expanded to new countries and new types of practitioners. The company is now live in Germany and now also works with hospitals. Some hospitals have completely switched their scheduling system to Doctolib. Doctolib essentially became the leading cloud service for healthcare scheduling.

There are currently 75,000 practitioners and 1,400 healthcare facilities using Doctolib. The company works with 750 people and has offices in 40 different cities — it sounds like you need to have a local team in order to convince doctors in a specific area.

And now, the startup wants to expand to new services. In January, the company launched its telemedicine service. Existing Doctolib customers can now flip a switch and start accepting remote appointments.

This is a natural extension of Doctolib’s booking service. In addition to finding the right doctor and booking an appointment, you can now have a video consultation with a healthcare professional and get a digital prescription in your account.

Doctolib has focused on a limited feature set for years. But the company now has a shot at becoming a sort of Salesforce for the healthcare industry — a software-as-a-service company with a range of services to help practitioners switch from traditional software suites to browser-based applications.

For instance, Doctolib could expand beyond patient-to-doctor relationships and facilitate doctor-to-doctor collaboration as well.

With today’s funding round, the company will double the size of the team within the next three years across the board. In addition to sales people, the company will also double the size of the technology, product and design teams in order to launch new products. And finally, Doctolib will also expand to new countries.

Doctolib details how telemedicine appointments work

French startup Doctolib announced back in September that it would open up telemedicine appointments on its platform in 2019. The company is taking advantage of recent legal changes that finally make telemedicine legal in France.

Doctolib is a marketplace matching patients with health practitioners — 70,000 practitioners and 1,400 medical institutions use it in France and Germany. Each health professional pays €109 per month to access the service ($124).

By replacing your calendar with Doctolib, you save a ton of time. You no longer have to pick up the phone constantly and say when you’re available and not available. Everything stays in sync between the public website and your calendar.

And now, all practitioners can go beyond face-to-face appointments. If they start accepting telemedicine appointments, patients will be able to book a remote appointment. The company has been testing the new service with 500 practitioners.

After configuring the service, patients can start a video chat when it’s time to talk with their doctor. Once the call is done, patients pay on Doctolib’s website. They can then access prescriptions in their user accounts.

Doctolib won’t take a cut on each transaction. The startup is selling this services as an add-on instead. Practitioners can choose to pay €79 per month ($90) on top of their standard Doctolib plan to start accepting remote appointments.

This is a great way to boost the company’s bottom line and also a seamless experience for everyone involved. Practitioners can accept video calls from Doctolib’s interface and patients don’t have to use another service.

Those appointments comply with France’s national healthcare system. Patients get reimbursed just like a normal appointment. But there are some legal restrictions.

In particular, you can’t book a remote appointment and get reimbursed if the doctor doesn’t know you already. So Doctolib only lets you book remote appointments with practitioners you’ve physically seen over the last 12 months. But that feature could still be particularly useful to renew your prescription and other minor medical stuff.

Doctolib to open up telemedicine appointments

French startup Doctolib will take advantage of recent legal changes that will make telemedicine legal in France. Starting on January 1st, you’ll be able to book face-to-face appointments on Doctolib as well as remote appointments.

Doctolib is a marketplace with 60,000 practitioners using the platform to manage their calendars and let people book appointments through Doctolib’s website. Millions of people then browse Doctolib’s website and app to find practitioners and book appointments. Doctors pay a monthly fee to access Doctolib’s service.

While it’s still unclear how it’s going to work, Doctolib plans to tap its existing community of doctors to let them accept remote appointments too.

Doctolib is already testing the service with 500 practitioners. According to the legal framework, you won’t be able to hop on Doctolib, find an available doctor and start a video call with them.

The idea is that you don’t have to show up in person every time you need to see your doctor. Once in a while, a remote appointment is enough. That’s why you’ll only be able to book remote appointments with practitioners who know you already.

But the good news is that remote appointments will be reimbursed by the national healthcare system, just like any appointment. Details are still thin when it comes to the payment system and the communication platform.

In order to work on that new service, Doctolib plans to hire 150 engineers and open up a big office — the Health Tech Center. It’s not going to be limited to the Doctolib team as the company plans to invite officials, practitioners and more.

Medical care scheduling startup Doctolib acquires MonDocteur

What do you do when you’ve raised nearly $100 million and you want to grow as quickly as possible? In Doctolib’s case, the startup is acquiring its main competitor MonDocteur. Together, the two companies work with tens of thousands of doctors and get tens of millions of unique visitors every month.

Doctolib has developed an online scheduling platform for all sorts of doctors, from your physician next door to the hospital in the big city.

Instead of creating integrations with existing calendars and software solutions, Doctolib is replacing your doctor’s scheduling system altogether. After signing up, you can create your profile and manage your calendar from Doctolib directly.

This way, patients can look at their doctor’s calendar on Doctolib’s website and find a time slot that works for everyone. But doctors even use Doctolib for patients who call them directly as it replaces the entire calendar system.

MonDocteur started five years ago with the exact same idea in mind. Over time, the two companies have significantly grown and convinced more and more doctors. You can’t use both solutions, so each doctor had to decide between Doctolib and MonDocteur.

Here are some numbers:

  • MonDocteur has 150 employees, while Doctolib has 450 employees.
  • MonDocteur works with 10,000 health professionals and Doctolib has signed up 45,000 health professionals.
  • MonDocteur costs €106.80 per month, Doctolib costs €109 per month in France.
  • MonDocteur gets 4 million visitors per month on its website. Doctolib now attracts 16 million visitors.

So it’s clear that MonDocteur was smaller than Doctolib, but not really an order of magnitude smaller. These two startups will form a big company after the acquisition with 600 employees. It will also lead to a huge jump in monthly recurring revenue.

It’s clear that Doctolib now has nothing to worry about in France. The startup also recently launched its service in Germany. Now, it’s all about convincing new doctors in France and Germany to join the platform. The company could also expand to new services to create new revenue streams.

For now, both MonDocteur and Doctolib will stick around. If you’ve been using one of those two sites, nothing will change. Doctors will also remain segmented between the two sites. Eventually, there will be just one service.