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SmileDirectClub, LLC
Founded2014; 5 years ago (2014)
FounderJordan Katzman
Alex Fenkell
Retail Location in Manhattan

SmileDirectClub is a teledentistry company. The company was co-founded in 2014 by Jordan Katzman and Alex Fenkell. It is based in Nashville, Tennessee.[1][2] SmileDirectClub produces 3D-printed clear aligners.[3] SmileDirectClub aligners are a competitor of traditional braces and clear alignment companies like Invisalign. [4] Communication with licensed orthodontic professionals and other SmileDirectClub staff takes place virtually. Impression kits are sent to customers, after which teeth molds are reviewed by dentists or orthodontists who oversee the treatment process. The company reportedly works with 225 licensed professionals.[5] While most business and dentistry is conducted online, the company has 200 retail locations in 38 states.[6]


The company initially partnered with Align Technology as an exclusive third-party distributor for its aligners.[7] After a dispute over violation of a non-compete clause claiming Align "misused confidential SmileDirectClub information and violated its fiduciary duties," Align was ordered by an arbitrator to close its retail locations.[8]

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has filed complaints with 36 state dental boards, alleging that SmileDirectClub violates regulatory standards.[9][10] According to SmileDirectClub representatives, 12 of the cases have been closed and no adverse legal action has been taken against the company.[11] The AAO has stated that only five states confirmed closed cases.[11]

In October 2018, SmileDirectClub raised $380 million in an investment round led by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Kleiner Perkins, for a $3.2 billion valuation according to Bloomberg.[12] SmileDirectClub was initially funded by Camelot Venture Group. The company expanded into Canada in November 2018.[13] During the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, SmileDirectClub announced a collaboration with singer Shawn Mendes on campaign to show "that confidence is gained with an amazing smile."[14]

In August 2019, the company has filed S-1 paperwork to go public [15].

Initial Public Offering[edit]

On September 12th 2019, the company went public by offering initial shares at $23, well above estimates of $19-$22 per share. SDC was the highest loss from an IPO since the 2008 recession losing 28% on the first day. [16] The CFO of the company has stated "The focus is the long term growth" [17]


  1. ^ "Teeth-straightening startup SmileDirectClub gets $3 billion valuation in new fundraising". CNBC.
  2. ^ Stinnett, Joel (11 October 2018). "Nashville company raises $380 million at $3.2 billion valuation". Nashville Business Journal. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Orthodontics Startup SmileDirectClub Gets $3.2 Billion Valuation". Bloomberg.
  4. ^ Tindera, Michela. "Bracing For Competition? Cheaper Challengers Enter Invisalign's $1.5 Billion Market". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  5. ^ "Teeth-straightening startups can be a cheap alternative to braces. But orthodontists have their doubts". Chicago Tribune.
  6. ^ "SmileDirectClub locations". SmileDirectClub.
  7. ^ "Align Technology to Supply Non-Invisalign Clear Aligners to SmileDirectClub in North America". Align Technology. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  8. ^ "Arbitrator gives SmileDirectClub huge win over Align". Nashville Post. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  9. ^ Wolf, Janine (23 September 2018). "Orthodontists aren't smiling about teeth-straightening startups". The Mercury News. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Getting Your Teeth Straightened at a Strip Mall? Doctors Have a Warning". Bloomberg.
  11. ^ a b "The Cutthroat World of Orthodontic Invisible Aligner Startups". Racked.
  12. ^ Wolf, Janine (2 November 2018). "Healthcare Startups Have Raised More This Year Than in 2012 And 2013 Combined". Forbes. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  13. ^ Taylor, Paul (12 November 2018). "Are DIY orthodontics safe?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  14. ^ Staff (6 February 2019). "Shawn Mendes to Launch SmileDirectClub Partnership With TV Spot During Grammys". Variety. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  15. ^ Rose Dickey, Megan (16 August 2019). "SmileDirectClub files to go public amid concerns from dental associations". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  16. ^ LaVito, Angelica (2019-09-12). "SmileDirectClub slides 28% after stock market debut". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  17. ^ Ross, Katherine (2019-09-12). "SmileDirectClub CFO on Going Public, SmilePay and Competition". TheStreet. Retrieved 2019-09-13.

Further reading[edit]

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