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

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

Once you add Tanker to your product, messages and files shared between patients and healthcare professionals are end-to-end encrypted. Tanker and its customers cannot decrypt files or messages because they do not have access to the private encryption key. In other words, if you are neither the sender nor the receiver, you cannot decrypt the data.

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

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

“Doctolib plans to acquire the shares of the company named Tanker,” wrote a lawyer in a letter. “This operation would be carried out under the terms of the memorandum of understanding signed on December 9, 2021, which provides for the sale of 100% of the capital shares of Tanker for the benefit of Doctolib.”

The most recent filing mentions January 11, 2022 as the closing date of the transaction, which is today. Another source told me the acquisition was in the works. We contacted Doctolib, but received a “no comment” on this.

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

The enigma of valuation

Yesterday I was writing about Doctolib’s press conference on its latest metrics and upcoming product releases. Interestingly, Doctolib co-founder and CEO Stanislas Niox-Chateau said that they “have stopped communicating about funding cycles for the past few years. Every quarter, every year, investors are reinvesting or investing to the first time based on our long-term project.

In 2019, the company said it reached a valuation of $1.13 billion (€1 billion). This is the last time that Doctolib talked about rounds.

But this is not the most recent funding round. For example, like Charlie Perreau Point, General Atlantic invested $69 million (€61 million) in the company in February 2020.

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

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

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