Mechelen - Brussels, June 15, 2021. Telecom company Telenet and FinTech company Isabel Group today announce that together they are taking over the digital platform Doccle and want to take it to the next level. Earlier this year, Telenet signed an agreement with Acerta and the Nationaal Hulpfonds (National Health Insurance Fund ‘Christelijke Mutualiteit’, further referred to as ‘CM’), to acquire their shares and has now concluded an agreement with Isabel Group for selling it 50% of the shares in Doccle. As a result, Telenet and Isabel Group will before long each own half of the business. The entry in Doccle fits in with the strategy of Isabel Group, which also owns Zoomit, to further digitize payments, administration and document management. For Telenet, this acquisition and subsequent sale of part of the shares is in line with its ambition to focus maximally on digitizing customer experience. In the next few years, Telenet and Isabel Group want to invest an additional 5 million euros to turn Doccle into the platform of the future.
Doccle is the largest digital administration platform in Belgium. The platform was established as independent start-up in 2012 by Telenet, Acerta and the Nationaal Hulpfonds (CM) to bundle their digital administration. More than 2.2 million Belgian people currently receive, process and store more than 125 million documents a year on Doccle. Thanks to the interactive app that collects all documents in a reliable digital environment, Doccle provides secure, easy and quick management of personal administration. All Belgian nationals can receive their government documents on Doccle by connecting to eBox. The platform collaborates with hundreds of large and small companies and organizations from all possible sectors such as: social secretariats, water companies, banks, insurance companies, social insurance funds for the self-employed, health insurance funds, and even intermunicipal waste companies.
Doccle is now ready for a new growth phase to organize the digital administration of families and self-employed even better, by integrating innovative digital applications in the platform such as automating invoice flows and linking insights and actions related to documents. As these further developments are not part of the strategy of either Acerta or CM, Telenet Group earlier this year entered in an agreement to acquire their shares and started looking for a strategic partner to help realize this growth.
On June 10th, 2021 Isabel Group signed an agreement to purchase 50% of Telenet’s participation in Doccle after Telenet bought out Acerta and CM.
Digital Platform of the Future
Together, Telenet and Isabel Group want to take Doccle to the next level and turn it into the digital platform of the future. Both residential customers and companies need an easily accessible but ultra-secure environment where they can carry out all activities relating to administration, exchange of data with suppliers, online ordering, paying, follow-up or cancellation of transactions in no time. In other words, Doccle must become the most reliable digital document and data strongbox that combines archiving, filtering and consulting documents and in due course also innovative payment methods, viewing payment history etc.
The entry is fully in line with the strategy of Isabel Group: through Zoomit and payment platform Isabel it has already been focusing on the digitization of payments for decades.
Jean de Crane, CEO Isabel Group: ‘Isabel Group simplifies the management of payments, identity and administration through digitization. Besides our contribution for businesses, we also consider the digitization of the Belgian households to be part of our social role. In the past, this has already resulted in products such as Zoomit and initiatives such as Digicrowd. Our commitment to Doccle must offer both end-users and partners new possibilities in terms of smart automation. We greatly look forward to working together with Telenet to give this innovative platform a boost and consequently further reduce the digital threshold in our country.’
John Porter, CEO Telenet: ‘Together with Isabel Group we hope to continue to feed our ambition to get all Belgians on the digital highway. Doccle is a platform that has grown rapidly and is now ready for the next step in its development. Thanks to its experience in online payment platforms, Isabel Group has the right profile to assist in this evolution. We are therefore pleased to be able to collaborate with a strong partner in finding digital solutions for consumers regarding document and data management but also to give companies the opportunity of participating in the most innovative platform where their customers can receive, process and store all their documents in one location.’
Bram Lerouge, CEO Doccle: ‘We are convinced that the entry of Isabel Group is positive for the future of Doccle. At the same time we wish to express our thanks to Doccle co-founders Acerta and CM. Thanks to them and to Telenet, Doccle got off to a flying start. Right from day one Doccle was forced to build a platform that could reconcile various needs from totally different companies and support a great deal of transactions on a large scale. There is a need for an even greater simplification of digital administration and more clarity for people on how to organize themselves in this respect. Together with Isabel Group and Telenet it is our ambition to become the platform that is offering this simplicity and clarity.’
The takeover by Telenet and entry by Isabel Group do not have any impact on the current arrangements with organizations using Doccle. Doccle will continue to operate from its Leuven office and there will be no changes for the employees.
The parties involved do not provide details on the price or other terms of the transaction. The takeover of the shares by Isabel Group is subject to the approval of the competition authorities.
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