Stories on Startups

Teeth-Straightening Startup Gets $3 Billion Valuation

SmileDirectClub is a popular startup in the dental industry. It offers at-home teeth-straightening service. The company recently raised $380 million, and the net valuation stands at $3.2 billion as of now. The leading investors in the recent round of fundraising were Clayton and Dubilier& Rice though Kleiner Perkins and Spark Capital are worth mentioning in this connection. This fundraising took place after two years from last round which was in 2016 from Align Technology. Align Technology invested $46.7 million in 2016 followed by $12.8 million to increase its stake at the company to 19 percent.

What The Company Aims At ?

The management of the company is overwhelmed with the response it received in the recent fundraising round as expressed by the co-founded Alex Fenkell. The company aims to provide more affordable and convenient service to straighten the teeth and transform the smile. The company markets their service as life-changing, and with more fund, they can reach out to more people and grow into new spaces to unfold the future opportunities in their industry. The company says that their services cost 60% less than the treatments available in the market. Looking at the success of the startup in this space, there are many other startups who are starting their operation in the same space. SmileDirectClub is ready to welcome competing to offer better services, but they want to be the leader in the space for the unforeseen future.

How Does SmileDirectClub Work?

SmileDirectClub is a direct-to-consumer service startup, and they are popular as teeth-aligner. The company started as a teledentistry where they used to virtually connect the licensed dentists and orthodontists with the common people who wanted to straighten their teeth. The company started its operation in 2014, and it has served over 300,000 people by straightening as well as brightening their teeth. With the great response from the people, the company improved its service from teledentistry to direct-to-consumer service where they send licensed dental professionals directly to the customers. Not just that, they remotely monitor the progress of the patient.

The person willing to straighten his/her teeth has to take the dental impression at home and send it across to the company. Alternatively, they can visit the company’s SmileShops to scan the dental impression in person. Then they ship the aligner or dental professional directly to the home. The treatment can range from 4 months to 14 months.

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