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Shares in telemedicine startup MindBeacon Holdings Inc. spiked in the company’s debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange Friday, the latest in a string of newly issued Canadian technology companies to be well received by public markets investors.

The Toronto company on Thursday sold 8.125 million shares at $8 apiece in its initial public offering, raising gross proceeds of $65-million.

The stock opened Friday at $15 – or 88 per cent above the issue price – and closed at $11.10, up 39 per cent on the day. With 23.6 million shares outstanding, that gave the company a market capitalization of more than $260-million.

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That makes MindBeacon the latest in a slew of technology companies to get an enthusiastic welcome from public investors this year on Canadian stock exchanges. Several issues on both the TSX – including Nuvei Corp. and Dye and Durham Corp. – and TSX Venture exchange, such as WeCommerce Holdings Ltd. and Pivotree Inc, have shot up in their first day of trading.

MindBeacon, which provides mental-health therapy over the internet through its Beacon service, originally set out to raise $50-million in its IPO, which was underwritten by TD Securities, Credit Suisse Securities, Bloom Burton and Co., Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., Beacon Securities and Echelon Wealth. It upsized the offering size twice and priced the shares at the top end of its original range of $7-to-$8 a share after getting $400-million worth of orders from prospective investors, the Globe reported Thursday.

The five-year-old Toronto company – led by veteran Bay Street financier Sam Duboc – set out this year to raise $30-million from private investors, but shifted course to raise a larger amount from public investors given the strong performance of tech stocks. MindBeacon had previously raised $38-million from backers including Green Shield Canada, Manulife Financial Corp. and Telus.

Widespread sheltering at home during the pandemic has translated into significant growth for companies that deliver online health care, prompting a rush of investment into the sector. Canada’s two largest telemedicine service providers, Dialogue Technologies Inc. and Maple Corp., have each raised tens of millions of dollars this year and Dialogue has explored going public. Prices for shares of TSX-listed Well Health Technologies Corp., which also provides virtual health care services, have more than quadrupled this year.

Mr. Duboc, who co-founded private equity firm EdgeStone Capital Partners as well as Air Miles parent LoyaltyOne Co., has been open about his past struggles with depression. In a letter included with MindBeacon’s prospectus, Mr. Duboc explained how the sudden death of his brother in 2011 led him to become “deeply depressed.” He struggled to find a good therapist and felt “stigma and discomfort with each appointment.”

Mr. Duboc wrote that he and his spouse, Claire, who co-founded MindBeacon, “feel that mental health care should be more accessible, and this idea started our journey that eventually led to MindBeacon.”

The Dubocs teamed up starting in 2015 with CBT Associates, a private Toronto provider of cognitive behavioural therapy to treat people with mental-health issues, including anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder – a form of treatment that Mr. Duboc has said helped him. They later formed MindBeacon to develop a digital service for patients to access practitioners remotely. CBT co-founder Peter Farvolden is chief science officer.

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MindBeacon’s services are provided by Telus Corp., Rogers Communications Inc. and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., among others, to their employees. Insurers including Blue Cross, Manulife, Green Shield Canada and SSQ Insurance have sponsored free access to online clinical psychologists through Beacon during the pandemic.

Revenues in the nine months ended Sept. 30 were $6.6-million, up 86 per cent from the same period in 2019. The company is looking for funds to broaden its care offerings, hire sales and marketing staff, expand to the United States and beef up its data analytics and artificial-intelligence capabilities.

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