Smileneo, a UAE healthtech startup, has successfully raised US$2 million in a seed funding round led by Kingsway Capital.
FJ Labs, a fund led by José Marin and Fabrice Grinda, founder of OLX Group, joined the round, as well as a number of global angel investors, including Mato Peric, founder of MPGI, Leonard Stiegeler, founder of Pulse, and Tom Stafford, Managing Partner at DST Global.
Launched in 2019 by Dr. Jonathan Doerr, Smileneo enables patients to access dental clinics which provide safe, effective, doctor-prescribed and monitored clear aligners. Its business model is based on connecting patients with local clinics through its partner network.
An e-commerce veteran, Doerr came to Dubai with a goal to build a “patient-focused brand that would bridge a gap between patienets and doctors, while focusing on patient happiness.” After extensive research and market anaylsis, Doerr and his team saw that 85% of people across the MENA region could benefit from orthodontic treatments, but only less than 1% actually receive them each year. A large number of people don’t have access to quality orthodontic care that fits their budget and lifestyles. “We finally decided to dive into the space by digitizing orthodontics to modernize and improve patient experiences while enhancing convenience and affordability,” he says. “Our mission is to give everyone a straighter and brighter smile with less of the cost and hassle of traditional dental-office driven treatment. We want to empower people to make a positive change with a new smile that brings confidence to unlock limitless opportunities.
Being a healthtech startup in a traditionally offline-based industry, convincing patients and merchant partners to try out their service requires a strategy. Therefore, the team offers a free online assessment for patients to know ahead whether or not they are a candidate to Smileneo, saving them any prior unnecessary investment in their time and money. “Our partner clinics only use 3D intraoral scanners and X-ray to deliver more accurate and precise results,” Doerr says. “In today’s world, people are looking for convenience and for affordable solutions that fit their busy lifestyle.” This approach has worked well to the advantage of both patients and partner clinics as it offered affordable and faster solutions, without compromising on patient care and high-quality treatment.
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