Dialogue acquires leading Canadian employee assistance programs provider as it expands offerings

Telehealth startup Dialogue has acquired Canadian workplace health and wellness service provider Optima Global Health, as it continues to expand its product offerings.

Montreal-based Dialogue called the acquisition part of its “accelerated growth strategy,” and “another step” towards market leadership as it looks to create a fully-integrated health and wellness platform for Canadian organizations.

“Tapping into Optima’s established expertise and leadership is critical to the success of our expansion.”
– Cherif Habib, Dialogue

Of late, the startup has been building on its healthcare technology to address new service areas in order to meet that goal.

Founded in 2016 and incubated in Diagram Ventures, Dialogue launched as a telemedicine solution targeted to employers, offering services to access front-line healthcare providers through its virtual care platform.

In August, Dialogue launched Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services, indicating a new product line for the telemedicine startup. EAPs are typically services for workers, funded by employers, that provide confidential short-term support, including assessments and counselling to help manage both personal and work-related challenges.

“We’re building a one-stop-shop solution that breaks down the barriers of current care models and empowers people to take control of their health,” Dialogue’s COO, Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, said earlier this year of Dialogue’s move into EAP.

Founded in 1993, Optima Global Health provides integrated workplace health and wellness, spanning awareness and training, EAP, disability management, rehabilitation, healthy lifestyle habit integration, and more. With millions of users across Canada, it is considered a leading EAP provider. Terms of the acquisition deal, which was announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Optima Global Health gives Dialogue access to a network of more than 3,000 practitioners across Canada and more than two million users. The startup claimed that combining Dialogue’s own recently launched EAP offering with Optima’s places the Montreal startup among the biggest EAP providers in the country.

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“Tapping into Optima’s established expertise and leadership is critical to the success of our expansion into Canada’s promising EAP market,” said Cherif Habib, co-founder and CEO of Dialogue.

Dialogue’s expansion of its services comes as the popularity of virtual care has been accelerated significantly due to COVID-19. In July, Dialogue penned a deal with Sun Life Financial, which provided the startup with an equity investment of $32.7 million; part of a broader $43 million round.

Sun Life’s investment followed a partnership between the two companies and gave the insurance firm a minority ownership stake in Dialogue, with rights to acquire additional equity.

Dialogue has raised approximately $88 million to date, including a $40 million Series B round, raised in June 2019. The startup is backed by the likes of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Portag3 Ventures, White Star Capital, and First Ascent Ventures.

Image source Diagram

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.