Australia-based Cochlear Ltd (COH.AX) announced today its acquisition of Sycle LLC (Sycle.net), San Francisco, the world’s largest provider of audiology office management software (OMS). The deal reportedly consists of $56 million in cash and up to $22 million in possible performance incentives over a 3-year period, for a total potential sale price of $78 million.
Founded in 2001, Sycle is a cloud-based practice management solution that is designed to seamlessly integrate many services, including patient clinical data, financing, reimbursement, and marketing campaigns. The company has about 80 employees, and the Sycle.net system is reportedly used by over 20,000 hearing care professionals in about 7,000 locations in the US, UK, and Canada. In the US, the company’s biggest market, Sycle estimates that it has a 70% market share. The company has been led since its inception by co-founder and CEO Ridge Sampson who combined his digital marketing and advertising expertise with the experience of former Sonus co-founder and Sycle Chairman Randy Drullinger. As described in a 2008 Hearing Review article, “the company was built out of the founders’ personal savings and with the help of friends and families, and it [provides] audiology and hearing clinics with a management and record-keeping tool that is both affordable and reliable.”
Market analysts cited several possible benefits for the acquisition by Cochlear, including a heightened profile for its brand in audiology practices, insights into the behavior and practice management of hearing care professionals, and integration of fitting software that could potentially flag patients for whom an implant might be beneficial. In addition to having the global leading Nucleus 6 cochlear implant, Cochlear also offers the Baha bone conduction implant, wireless accessories, and other systems.