Dialogue makes acquisition as fellow Québec startup Foko Retail bought by Michigan-based firm

Dialogue co-founders

Two Québec-based startups, Dialogue Health Technologies and Foko Retail, announced acquisition deals this week, with Dialogue purchasing mental health provider e-hub Health as Foko was bought by a Michigan-based firm.

Dialogue announced Friday it has acquired e-hub Health, a leader in internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT). The deal will see the publicly-listed Dialogue expanding its mental health offerings and moving into iCBT.

“Today’s acquisition is an important milestone toward the launch of Dialogue’s iCBT program.”

Gatineau-based software firm Foko Retail also announced this week its acquisition by WorkForce Software, a provider of cloud-based workforce management solutions.

Dialogue’s acquisition is its first since the Montréal-based startup went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) in late March. e-hub Health offers online self-help programs to improve mental health and it is said to be one of the most research-backed and peer-reviewed iCBT solutions globally, with Dialogue calling the company’s tech “widely recognized as a groundbreaking technology solution for mental health.” Its programs were developed over 15 years by researchers at The Australian National University.

While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Dialogue said the acquisition will allow it to offer a comprehensive iCBT service within its Integrated Health Platform. Dialogue launched the Integrated Health Platform earlier this year, bringing its primary care, mental health program, and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) under one system.

RELATED: Dialogue closes TSX IPO, raising $100 million

“Today’s acquisition is an important milestone toward the launch of Dialogue’s iCBT program,” said Anna Chif, chief product officer at Dialogue. “Alongside our comprehensive and multidisciplinary Integrated Health Platform, the expertise and knowledge developed by e-Hub Health … will further position Dialogue as the Canadian leader in quality virtual healthcare, and offer added excellent mental health support to millions of Canadians in a time of need.”

Dialogue went public on the TSX in March, raising $100 million. The telehealth company, which offers a virtual care platform that targets employers, has acquired four companies since it was founded in 2016. Last year, Dialogue acquired two companies: Argumed Consulting Group and Optima Global Health, which followed the 2018 purchase of DXA, an AI-powered tool designed to replicate how an ER doctor’s brain thinks.

Gatineau, Québec-based retail communication software provider Foko Retail’s acquisition by WorkForce Software follows a $3 million investment round led by BDC Capital in February.

Foko Retail has developed a mobile-first communication platform to support retailers’ frontline team communications and their tasks. Features span visual merchandising and marketing, communication, and store audits. The company’s customers have included global 50 retailers, including Converse, Whole Foods, CVS, and Five Below.

In a post about the deal, CEO Marc Gingras called WorkForce Software the “yin to our yang,” noting the deal “was the perfect match.”

RELATED: Amazon launches IP Accelerator for its Canadian retailers

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and both Foko Retail and WorkForce Software declined to comment for this story. However, Foko Retail is set to continue operating, with Gingras noting in the post the company is “looking forward to serving [its customers] under a new banner with an extended team.”

The deal is set to expand Foko’s customer base and geographic footprint – something the startup was looking to do following its recent fundraise. WorkForce Software claims four million users of its workforce management solutions from 1,100 companies. Its product is used by well-known brands in a number of industries, including manufacturing, government, healthcare, energy, and retail – Foko’s Retail’s specialty.

“The Foko team is ready and excited for this next chapter,” said Gringras. “WorkForce is committed to investing heavily in our communication and task management platform and, together, we plan to redefine the labour management landscape.”

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.