On Wednesday, at-home teeth straightening startup SmileDirectClub closed a $380 million round of private equity funding, giving the company a reported $3.2 billion valuation. The funds will be used for innovation, research, development, and international expansion.
Aligned with Align Technologies
The new round comes in addition to a $59.5 million investment made by Align Technologies over the past two years. These investments give Align a 19% ownership stake in the company. Despite the large infusion of funds however, shares of Align fell nearly 7.3% on Wednesday, though this was likely more of a reflection of the greater 800+ point loss the DOW took on the same day. Overall, Align shares are up more than 42% on the year.
A Mix of Private Equity and VC Firms Invloved
The round was led by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier, & Rice and also saw participation from VC firms Kleiner Perkins, and Spark Capital. According to a general partner at Kleiner Perkins, “Even among its peer group of unicorns, SmileDirectClub’s growth stands out. Consumers simply love the freedom of getting aligners delivered straight to their home.”
SmileDirectClub Innovated Plan Patients Love
Founded in 2014, SmileDirectClub offers teeth straightening technology delivered directly to the home at up to 60% less than the cost of a traditional in-office methods. The Nashville-based company first sends an ‘impression kit’ to the customer for them to use and send back. From there a licensed dental professional crafts a typically six-month long treatment plan for the patient. The company then 3D-prints the patient’s aligners and sends them direct to their home. The whole process typically costs less than $2,000.
A Smiling CEO
According to SmileDirectClub CEO Alex Fenkell, “We are very excited with the outcome of our most recent fundraising round. Our mission has always been to provide an affordable and convenient option to anyone who wants to transform their smile. We are excited to continue our growth into new spaces and be given the incredible opportunity to reach even more people with our life-changing service. We can’t wait to see what the future holds and are grateful for the support from our new investors.”
To date, SmileDirectClub claims to have treated more than 300,000 patients.