British telehealth company Babylon has agreed to go public in the United States via a merger deal with Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp (Alkuri Global), a special purpose acquisition company led by former Groupon chief Rich Williams.
The deal reflects an initial pro forma equity value of approximately $4.2 billion and is expected to close in the second half of 2021.
The deal with Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp will provide up to $575 million in gross proceeds to Babylon, including $230 million private placement from investors such as AMF Pensionsforsakring and Palantir Technologies Inc.
Founded in 2013, Babylon provides video medical appointments and AI-powered diagnosis services. The company has partnered with the U.K.’s National Health Service and U.S. hospitals such as Mount Sinai Health Partners to push for global expansion.
Babylon said it now covers 24 million patients worldwide. The company reported $79 million in revenue in 2020, a 394% year-over-year increase, and it expects to grow to $321 million this year.
The company was last valued at $2 billion during a $550 million funding round in 2019. It is backed by Ergo Fund, Kinnevik, Vostok New Venture, Sawiris, NNS holdings, Vostok New Ventures, and other investors.
Dr. Ali Parsa, Founder, and CEO of Babylon, commented, “We founded Babylon on a fundamental belief, that it is possible to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every person on earth by combining the latest in technology and the best in medical expertise. We have achieved one of the highest growth rates every year since our inception, with consistently high clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction. Becoming a public company is just another step in our journey. We are at the very beginning of our work to re-imagine our sector, to make it digital-first and prevention-first and shift the focus away from sick care to true health care.”
“Babylon’s patient-first approach – coupled with its focus on accessibility and affordability – has made it one of the most exciting growth stories in health and technology,” said Alkuri Global CEO Rich Williams. “When we founded Alkuri, we set out to identify high-potential, disruptive companies with visionary founders and strong teams. Babylon is all of those things, and we’re excited to work with them on their truly world-changing mission.”
Babylon will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “BBLN” after the deal is closed by year-end.
SPACs could outpace traditional digital health IPOs in 2021. Owlet Baby Care, a smart wearable sock maker that monitors a baby’s skin temperature, oxygen levels, and heart rate during sleep and sends relevant data to a companion app, announced that it would go public through a merger with Sandbridge Acquisition Corporation, a SPAC.