[CALIFORNIA] Silicon Valley telemedicine company Hims Inc, which gained popularity selling erectile dysfunction and hair loss treatments online, is nearing a deal to go public through a merger with blank-cheque company Oaktree Acquisition, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The deal, which may be announced as soon as next week, could value Hims at about US$1.6 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Oaktree is in talks with investors to raise about US$75 million to help fund the transaction, the people said.
The plans aren't final and could still fall apart. Bloomberg News reported last month that the parties were in talks about a potential deal.
Representatives for Hims and Oaktree declined to comment.
Hims is best known for offering online prescriptions to treat conditions that patients might be shy to visit an in-person provider for, such as hair loss and sexual dysfunction. Patients complete an online consultation with a doctor and shortly after receive a Hims-branded prescription in the mail. The company also sells its own skincare produce and vitamins. Hims has a parallel business for women, called Hers.
With demand for telehealth surging during the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has expanded into urgent care and mental-health services.
Hims has raised US$197 million from investors including Institutional Venture Partners, Forerunner Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Josh Kushner's Thrive Capital. Founded in 2017, the company was valued at U$1.1 billion in 2019, according to PitchBook.
Oaktree, backed by global asset manager Oaktree Capital Group, is a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, which raised US$200 million as part of its initial public offering last year.
Hims is the latest startup looking to go public through a SPAC. The investment vehicles have gained popularity this year, offering a quick route for companies seeking to go public without the scrutiny or risks of an IPO. This month, property startup Opendoor announced a US$4.8 billion merger with a blank-check company.