Doctolib is now France's most valuable VC-backed startup after a €500 million (around $550 million) round valued the medical appointment-booking specialist at €5.8 billion.

The round was led by Eurazeo and included other existing backers Bpifrance and General Atlantic, according to reports. With the funding, the company surpasses the last reported valuation of Back Market, which offers a marketplace for refurbished electronics—the latter was worth $5.7 billion as of January.

Despite growing at a slower pace than its neighbors in 2021, France's VC market has had a strong start to the year, and is currently Europe's second-largest VC ecosystem in terms of capital invested. Several new unicorns have been created since the start of the year, including payroll software developer PayFit and ecommerce startup Ankorstore.

As well as being the most-valuable French startup, Doctolib is also the most valuable VC-backed healthtech company in Europe. Investments in European healthtech saw their best year in 2021, reaching €4.4 billion, according to PitchBook dataan increase of 47.1% from 2020.

Despite record levels of investment, Europe only has three €1 billion-plus startups in the sectorall of which fall under telehealth. Stockholm-based Kry, which offers video consultations with doctors, reached unicorn status last year and was most recently valued at $2 billion last April. Another appointment-booking platform provider, ZnanyLekarz, gained a $1.8 billion valuation in September following its Series F.

Doctolib's latest funding will go toward recruiting for 3,500 new jobs in the next five years, which will bring its total workforce to 6,000. It will expand beyond appointment booking with new products, including an instant messaging service for healthcare professionals and a platform to centralize medical documents. The startup will also focus on strengthening its data security efforts. In January, Doctolib acquired encryption startup Tanker.

Featured image courtesy of Doctolib

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