UAE-based health tech receives largest seed round funding in dentistry sector
Smileneo, a UAE-based dentistry start-up received USD $2 Million in seed funding, making it the largest seed round raised by any teeth-straightening consumer marketplace from the region. Led by international investor, Kingsway Capital among several others, the company will use the funds to grow its team, expand operations, and enter new markets across the Middle East.
Identified for its strong team and successful business model, Smileneo links users with dental clinics which provide safe, effective, doctor-prescribed and monitored clear aligners to transform smiles. Its business model supports local clinics by sending cases to certified orthodontists. Through Smileneo, local dental clinics increase their business as patients get directed to them, making it a sustainable concept for the dental ecosystem in the region.
Dr. Jonathan Doerr, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Smileneo, said, “We’re working with healthcare regulators across the region to become the first licensed telehealth marketplace providing contact-light orthodontic treatments at the touch of a button. Based on our research, more than 85 percent of people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) could benefit from orthodontic care, but less than 1 percent receive it each year. Cost and convenience are the biggest reasons our users cite for not obtaining orthodontic care.”
Smileneo partner network, which includes the region’s top licensed orthodontists, is committed to making clear aligner treatments affordable, convenient, and accessible to everyone. Smileneo’s partners offer custom-fit aligners priced around 65 percent lower than traditional clear aligners with treatments taking 6 months on average.
According to the 2020 Global Ventures Digital Health report, the remote healthcare market in the MENA was valued at $989 million in 2019, and was projected to reach $1.8 billion in 2024, growing at a CAGR of 12.8 percent. Magnitt’s ‘2021 Emerging Venture Markets’ report showed the year-on-year investment in healthcare startups more than tripled in 2020, increasing by 280 percent to $72 million.