Healthcare Startup Babylon Plans Public Offering Via $4.2 Billion SPAC Merger


Artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare startup Babylon Holdings Limited is merging with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp. to go public on Nasdaq under the ticker BBLN, with an equity value of approximately $4.2 billion.

“We founded Babylon on a fundamental belief, that it is possible to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every person on earth by combining the latest in technology and the best in medical expertise,” Dr. Ali Parsa, founder and CEO of Babylon, said in a Thursday (June 3) press release.

Parsa added that the startup has experienced accelerated growth since starting up in 2013, aligning with high levels of overall satisfaction and outcomes. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

“Becoming a public company is just another step in our journey. We are at the very beginning of our work to re-imagine our sector, to make it digital-first and prevention-first and shift the focus away from sick care to true health care,” Parsa said.

The London-headquartered startup launched in 2013 to provide accessible, affordable healthcare by combining AI with doctors. Its mission is to make healthcare accessible and affordable to everyone.

Babylon said it is poised to re-engineer the $10 trillion global healthcare market in a way that shifts the focus from reactive healthcare to preventive.

The COVID-19 pandemic propelled the adoption of telehealth, which previously had a patient adoption below 40 percent. Now, post-pandemic, over 60 percent of patients seek digital doctor visits.

Babylon first announced last month that it was seeking to go public. The medical, app-based startup digitally connects patients with doctors. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the use of telehealth grew between 50 and 154 percent during the early days of the pandemic.

PYMNTS reported before the COVID-19 pandemic that less than 40 percent of patients with a chronic condition used telehealth services.