Sharecare acquires Doc.ai, reportedly plans to go public via SPAC

Wellness startup Sharecare may go public through a special purpose acquisition company, according to a report from Reuters.

A digital health company started by WebMD Founder Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz is reportedly in talks to go public through a blank-check deal.

Citing anonymous sources, Reuters reported that Sharecare would acquire healthcare artificial intelligence startup Doc.ai, and then merge with Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) created by investment banker Alan Mnuchin. The combined company would reportedly be valued at $4 billion.

Several digital health companies have recently turned to SPACs as a faster route to going public. A publicly-traded company with no operations is created with the  purpose of acquiring an unspecified target. Investors must approve the deal before the merger closes.

In this case, Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp. went public in September, raising $345 million in an IPO. 

A Sharecare spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

Sharecare, which was founded in 2010, has built an app that includes activity tracking, coaching, and other wellness features. The Atlanta-based company recently closed its acquisition of Doc.ai for an undisclosed amount, adding 70 engineers to its team. Doc.ai co-founders Sam De Brouwer and Walter De Brouwer will join the company as its chief strategy officer and chief science officer, respectively.

The deal will also solidify Sharecare’s partnership with Anthem. Last year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona struck a partnership to offer the app to its members, rewarding them for using it to track their steps, and led an investment in the company. Meanwhile, Anthem had worked with Doc.ai to license its Covid-19 evaluation tool and a mental health chatbot.

As part of the deal, Anthem will become a strategic partner to Sharecare and the company’s chief digital officer, Rajeev Ronanki, will join Sharecare’s board of directors.

“We have seen firsthand the quantifiable impact doc.ai has made in healthcare transformation and – given their acquisition by Sharecare – are excited about the opportunity to amplify our collective success throughout our extensive customer bases and product offerings,” he said in a news release. “Both organizations are relentlessly focused on the end user and have shared visions to apply technology to deliver a proactive, predictive, and personalized experience.”

Sharecare has made a string of acquisitions in recent months, including WhiteHatAI for claims review and MindSciences, a digital health startup with tools for tobacco cessation, stress and anxiety.

Healthcare marketing is also a portion of its business. Sharecare serves targeted ads to some of its users, but does not for those who access the app as part of their health plan, per its privacy policy.

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