Business

Teeth-straightening startup SmileDirectClub is set to starting trading Thursday after raising $1.3 billion in its IPO

Teeth-straightening startup SmileDirectClub is set to starting trading Thursday after raising $1.3 billion in its IPO

Digital health company SmileDirectClub is set to go public on Thursday after pricing its initial public offering on Wednesday.

The company priced its shares at $23 apiece on Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the offering. The share price values SmileDirectClub at $8.9 billion ahead of its first day of trading.

Nashville-based SmileDirectClub sold 58.5 million shares, raising $1.3 billion in the offering.

SmileDirectClub sells clear aligners for teeth, as an alternative to what you might get from an orthodontist. While it typically costs anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 to get traditional braces or Invisalign-brand aligners, SmileDirectClub goes for a fraction of that — you can either pay $1,895 up front, or a total of $2,290 spread out over two years.

Read more: These 10 buzzy digital health startups are poised to go public in the next 12 months

SmileDirectClub sells a teeth-whitening kit.
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

The idea behind SmileDirectClub is to make straightening teeth more affordable by cutting out the steps of going in person to a dentist or orthodontist to get braces or other alignments. The company was started by Alex Fenkell and Jordan Katzman in 2014.

In October, SmileDirectClub raised $380 million from the private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and the venture firms Kleiner Perkins and Spark Capital. The round valued the company at $3.2 billion, up from $275 million just two years earlier.

Read more: SmileDirectClub’s IPO could make the startup’s top investors into billionaires.

According to the IPO filing, SmileDirectClub’s net loss widened from $33.8 million in the first half of 2018 to $52.9 million in 2018. The company has increased its customer count from 22,000 in 2016 to about 246,000 in the first half of this year.

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