Shoppers Drug Mart to invest $75M in Canada’s leading virtual care provider Maple
Toronto, ON – September 15, 2020 – Strategic investment to expand Canadian’s access to telemedicine and virtual care: Shoppers Drug Mart, wholly owned subsidiary of Loblaw Companies Ltd and one of the most recognized and trusted names in national retailing, invests $75 million in Canada’s leading virtual care provider Maple in exchange for a material minority stake in the company.
Led by Shoppers Drug Mart, the leader in Canada’s retail drug store marketplace and the number one provider of pharmacy products and services, Loblaw Companies Ltd offers full-service pharmacies and professional care from 5,000 healthcare professionals in more than 1,800 locations in 10 provinces and 2 territories. The investment in Maple is another critical building block in Loblaw’s connected healthcare strategy.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that Canadians need new ways, particularly virtual ways, to get access to care,” said Jeff Leger, President, Shoppers Drug Mart. “We know that the future of healthcare is digitally enabled. We believe that our store network and infrastructure, combined with Maple’s technology can help better connect Canadians to the healthcare support they need, whenever and wherever they are.”
Maple is a thriving telemedicine provider and virtual care platform. It allows patients to connect directly with doctors and specialists for medical care from their smartphone or computer 24/7, and provides custom technology solutions for employers, insurers, hospitals, and clinics. In September 2019, Maple raised CAD 14.5 million by Acton Capital, supported by Canada’s leading diversified home health institution, SE Health.
“We’ve watched virtual care solve some of the most complex healthcare issues around the globe, as well as right here in Canada through our own programs,” says Dr. Brett Belchetz, CEO and Co-Founder of Maple.
“We’re thrilled to work hand-in-hand with Shoppers Drug Mart to bring the reliable, convenient, and high-quality access to care that we’ve developed over the past five years to more Canadians than ever before.”
Dr. Brett Belchetz, Maple
Maple’s strong history of implementing custom telehealth solutions for governments, hospitals, employers, and insurers made the new strategic investment by Shoppers Drug Mart an attractive choice. Already prior to the transaction and since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two companies worked together to make virtual care more accessible for Canadians. Maple virtual care is currently available in more than 160 Shoppers Drug Mart locations in British Columbia. This cooperation enabled nearly 20,000 virtual care visits in the first months, during a time when Canadians were asked to stay home and stay safe.