France’s Doctolib is new digital health unicorn

Doctolib, the largest digital health service in Europe, has raised 150 million euros in a funding round, valuing it at over a billion euros.

Thanks to the funding round led by growth equity firm General Atlantic, France’s Doctolib has become a privately-owned digital health “unicorn” overnight.

It joins an elite group of a handful of digital health unicorns identified by Rock Health at the beginning of the year – including indoor fitness cycle firm Peloton, worth $4.1 billion, and genetic testing firm 23andMe, worth $2.5 billion.

The investment round in the online medical appointment management service is reportedly the biggest e-health investment in a decade.

Subscribers pay a monthly fee to use Doctolib’s software, which links patients and healthcare professionals.

The firm was launched in Paris five years ago and employs 750 people across 40 offices in France and Germany, receiving more than 30 million online visits from patients each month.

Existing investors including venture capital firms Accel, Eurazeo, Kernel and Bpifrance took part in the latest funding round, along with several German investors.

The company will use the investment to double its staff to 1,500 people in three years and grow its video consultation service.

It also hopes to develop new products and expand internationally, after signing physicians that it says represent around 15% of the French market and 1% of the German market.

The investment in Doctolib shows the growing interest in products that digitally link patients with doctors – Swedish telehealth startup Kry last summer raised $66m for its product facilitating video calls to doctors or psychologists.

And in 2017, the UK’s digital healthcare firm Babylon raised $60m in funding towards its digital healthcare app based on AI and video and text consultations with doctors and specialists.

Doctolib’s co-founder and chief executive Stanislas Niox-Chateau said: “Our mission has been the same since day one: making our healthcare system more human, efficient, and connected, and building a company of several thousand people sharing humanist values.

“We believe that physicians are at the heart of the healthcare transformation, and the Doctolib team’s mission is to create the best services possible with them.”

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