TechInAfrica — A direct-to-consumer (D2C) dental startup Basma has announced that it raised $1.2 million in a seed round led by Lebanese VCs; B&Y Ventures Partners, and Cedar Mundi Ventures. The round was also joined by Beirut-based iSME and other angel investors.
Founded in 2019 by an orthodontist, Cherif Massoud, the Beirut-based Basma is a digital dental startup that sells invisible aligners, as an alternative to (metal) braces, to help people straighten their teeth. The company also sells a whitening kit, additionally.
“[We] want to give customers straighter and brighter teeth,” said the startup in a statement.
Basma sells the aligners — and whitening kit — globally, aiming at the UAE & Saudi market. The startup claims that its aligners are 65 percent cheaper than braces.
The users first have to order an impression kit to take impressions of their teeth at home and send it back to Basma.
Basma’s orthodontists then design the treatment plan and show users a 3D simulation of what their future smile will look like. Its website claims if it is determined that the user is not a good aligner candidate, Basma fully refunds the impression kit.
When a user confirms their treatment plan, Basma sends the aligners. The startup offers one-time (SAR 6,399 – USD 1,705), quarterly, and monthly payment plans for users to pay for aligners. They’re priced at SAR 6,399 ($1,705) if the payment is made in full, which is pretty close to what SmileDirectClub charges in the United States.
Commenting on the occasion, Cherif Massoud, the founder and CEO of Basma, said, “7 out of 10 people in the Arab world can benefit from straighter teeth. But we think that everyone deserves to smile confidently. Aligners are the best alternative to braces, by changing the distribution channel and putting everything online, Basma cuts the treatment cost by up to 65%. Patients are constantly connected to doctors on our advanced telemedicine platform and are able to receive the treatment kit that will have a series of clear custom-fitted aligners, straight to their homes.”
“Basma understands the consumer desire to improve their smile discreetly and they have the tools to make it happen. Adults should not feel pressured to wear wired braces. They are looking for invisible braces that don’t affect their confidence and this is exactly what we can give them,” he said.
Bassel Attieh, Chairman and Managing Partner of Cedar Mundi Ventures, added, “We see much appetite for HealthTech and cosmetics services in the Middle East, both from consumers and professionals. And the teeth aligner industry is only getting started here. We believe in Basma’s bright future, building on local entrepreneurial and tech talents, and leveraging internationally-acclaimed remote professional initiatives for and from the region.”
The startup plans to use the investment to further push “it’s tech base” and expand to the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.