Posted by Cherif Habib on June 17, 2019
Cherif Habib

Today is an important day for the Dialogue team.

I’m thrilled to announce we’ve raised a $40-million Series B funding round to fuel our next phase of growth. It’s a significant increase from our $12-million Series A round last year – a testament to the dedication of our team and the confidence entrusted in us by our clients. This cash injection also means we’re financially stable for the long haul. We’re here to stay!

The round was led by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, with participation from Portag3 Ventures, First Ascent Ventures, White Star Capital, BNC Ventures, and Walter Capital Partners.  (Read the full press release here)

We’re extremely excited to be working with these highly-respected institutional investors, many of whom participated in our previous funding round. In fact, the round was oversubscribed and every single current investor took more than their pro-rata. Some of these investors’ other bets include Lightspeed, Wealthsimple, Hopper, Plusgrade, Zalando and Flixbus. You can imagine how much we value their experience and advice!

This milestone will allow us to further the mission we’ve had since our founding three years ago: removing barriers to high quality health care.  (New to telemedicine?  Check out our Ultimate Guide to Telemedicine here!)

Our top priority is investing in the people, operations and underlying technologies that will enable us to continue scaling rapidly while improving the quality and accessibility of the care we deliver.

How we got here

There’s no secret recipe, but I believe four key aspects of our business have worked together in our favour:

1. We’re customer and patient centric

We could have chosen many different types of business models, but in the end we decided on B2B. We believe happy and healthy employees lead to strong and healthy bottom lines. Research shows that telemedicine helps reduce workplace absenteeism and is a benefit valued by employees. So it made most sense to partner with employers and insurance providers like Great West Life and SSQ to offer our services as part of workplace compensation packages.

Of course, for employees to see Dialogue as a benefit we need to provide them with the best services possible. We’re obsessively customer centric. Our model focuses heavily on the training and on-boarding of our care team to ensure the employee experience is always a great one. Based on our high level of employee engagement, we think we’ve been successful.

2. Our technology is ours

It would have been easy and much cheaper to start our company using existing software. But we believed a proprietary system would create a strong competitive edge in the long run. Having our own platform means we have full control over the user experience.  Our team is continuously working to make our products better for our patients, customers and care team. Our customers’ feedback is quickly taken into account in a virtuous cycle of product improvement.

While artificial intelligence presents incredible opportunities to improve health care, it must be deployed thoughtfully and responsibility. Our human-in-the-loop triage and conversational systems, which we validated in real-world emergency room settings, have demonstrated real potential to drastically optimize patient journeys while ensuring superior safety.

3. We are serious about trust and security

In healthcare, trust is the most important factor. Our clients need to know that their personal information is being respected and  protected. That’s why we have a Chief Privacy Officer who oversees a full-time quality and compliance team. Our tech is SOC 2 compliant, a high standard for data security and privacy that should be the standard for any partner — especially in the healthcare space. Like our code, we have full control over the security of our platform.

4. We have the best talent

There’s no hiding it:  Dialogue is a fun but challenging place to work. We’ve built a team of highly motivated A-players who not only believe in the company’s mission but proudly work hard together to make it a reality. We believe that great talent trumps everything and our team is not only the most highly skilled, but also the most empathetic bunch in the business.

Where we’re going

Our growth over three years has been energizing and humbling. We started with a small office in Montreal, but our operations quickly expanded to Toronto, Calgary and Munich. We’ve outgrown our headquarters and will be moving into a new space in the coming days.

This new funding and our expansion goals demand we look outwards. We’re looking for talented team players who can help lead us to the next phase. Check out our careers page, which has many exciting roles in all functions across Canada and Germany.

Stay tuned for some exciting announcements in the coming months (hints: new services, new partnerships, international projects, senior leadership hires).

Above all else, I am grateful to the whole Dialogue team who has worked tirelessly to offer enlightened care to hundreds of thousands of patients to get us to this point. Onward and upward!

Topics: News, Life at Dialogue

About the author

Before launching Dialogue, Cherif led EMcision, a medical device company, from inception to a successful exit to Boston Scientific. Prior to this he was a senior management consultant at McKinsey & Co. Cherif has an undergrad in Computer Science, a Master’s of Law and an MBA from Wharton with majors in Marketing and Operations.