One of Canada’s most valuable private technology companies, health care software provider PointClickCare Technologies Inc., is buying U.S.-based Audacious Inquiry for more than US$250-million, the latest in a string of sizeable foreign purchases by rapidly expanding digital enterprises based here.
The acquisition, PointClickCare’s ninth, will help the Mississauga company continue to broaden its offerings beyond its core business of providing internet-based health-records software to 27,000 nursing homes, retirement facilities and home-health agencies in the United States.
The deal builds on a strategy the company put in place with its December acquisition of Utah-based Collective Medical for more than US$500-million. That deal, the largest in PointClickCare’s history, differed from its past purchases of competing electronic medical records providers. It enabled PointClickCare to start filling gaps in caregiving between acute-care settings such as hospitals and post-acute centres like the ones it was already serving. Collective’s platform tracks tens of millions of patients across facilities, care organizations and national health plans across America.
A month after that acquisition, the company’s largest investor, Dragoneer Investment Group and fellow U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC bought out most of earlier shareholder JMI Equity’s stake in a deal valuing PointClickCare at US$4-billion.
With Audacious, PointClickCare is buying a fast-growing company whose software, like Collective’s, is also used to collect and exchange data between facilities that transfer patients so “when someone is discharged from hospital to home or post-acute facility, we want to make sure the doctor knows that is happening and that they have the insights they need” to follow up with patients, Scott Afzal, president of Audacious, said in an interview.
He said his company generates between US$30-million and US$40-million in annual revenue, operates in 16 U.S. states and has handled records for 70 million patients.
Baltimore, Md.-based Audacious was founded in 2004 and received no outside investment until 2017, when it raised money from local venture capital firm ABS Capital Partners. Three years later Bloomington, Minn.-based TT Capital Partners led another investment into Audacious. It has 169 employees, who will join 27-year-old PointClickCare, bringing the Canadian company’s headcount to 2,000 people.
PointClickCare CEO and co-founder Dave Wessinger – who took over last year from older brother Mike, now executive chairman – said in an interview the Audacious acquisition “is really step two in a process” following the Collective deal. The two acquisitions will build out his company’s ability to provide “continuity of care” to patients and “add high value” to the network of 2,700 hospitals, 2,000 ambulatory and more than 22,000 long-term and post-acute-care facilities PointClickCare serves in about 30 U.S. states. The company now generates about US$500-million in annual revenue and is growing by about 20 per cent per year, factoring out the impact of acquisitions, Mr. Wessinger said.
He added the deals come amid “fairly rapid” changes in the U.S. health care software space in recent years that have seen software vendors companies build out their capability, largely through acquisitions, to provide more integrated care offerings for patients. PointClickCare’s competitors include NetSmart Technologies, Inc. WellSky and Bamboo Health.
“This space has evolved fairly rapidly in recent years and it’s kind of a race to build that network and make the connections to get to the next layer,” Mr. Wessinger said. He added PointClickCare continues to look for other acquisitions. ”The single most important thing is to grow this area of the business,” he said. “Anything that helps us do that we’ll look at in a serious way.”
PointClickCare is one of many Canadian technology companies that have gone on a global buying binge during the pandemic, flush with cash from private backers or public offerings. Other recent acquirers of foreign companies include Eddyfi NDT, Dye & Durham, Lightspeed Commerce, Coveo Solutions, SemiosBio Technologies, Clio, FreshBooks, Magnet Forensics, Intelerad Medical Systems and Vendasta Technologies. Data from Refinitiv shows tech companies accounted for more than 21 per cent of foreign acquisitions by Canadian corporations, the sector’s highest share since 2000.
PointClickCare is paying for Audacious with a combination of cash on hand, debt and equity. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
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