Healthcare startup Smiles.ai has raised $23 million in Series A funding led by Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI). The round also saw participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Chiratae Ventures.
Other investors in the round include MBX Capital, Wami Capital and angel investors Peyush Bansal and Amit Chaudhary, Co-founders, Lenskart; Aakrit Vaish, Co-founder and CEO, Haptik; Revant Bhate, Co-founder, Mosaic Wellness; Miten Sampat CSO, CRED; and Sambhav Rakhyan, MD, WTW. Smiles.ai marks US-based healthcare-focused fund MBX Capital’s first investment in India.
Smiles.ai will deploy this funding towards expanding its footprint nationally, strengthening the leadership team, and building innovative tech-driven dental care solutions.
“India’s dental care market has remained highly fragmented and without any significant technological disruption for decades. However, now with increasing awareness, increasing disposable income, and rising millennial aspirations, the industry is going through a transition and we are leading this change in India by combining dental care, operations, and technology expertise, ” said Hitesh Kakrani, Co-founder, Smiles.ai.
The Series A funding comes within a year of the company raising a $1 million seed round co-led by Sequoia Capital India and Chiratae Ventures with participation from some reputed angels and family offices.
Speaking on the investment, Anirudh Singh, Managing Director, Alpha Wave Incubation, said, “Given the massive opportunity in the dental care space in India and abroad, we were very impressed with the Smiles.ai’s approach in establishing a comprehensive offline base of dentists and building an aligners business on top of that.
“Using technology as a key driver and differentiator, Smiles is poised to disrupt the market and establish itself as a market leader while maintaining its capital efficiency. Lastly, we believe the opportunity here is global and we will work with the company to take them to other markets such as the Middle East and North Africa.”
Smiles.ai was founded in 2019 by Hitesh Kakrani and Dr Jatin Kakrani. The startup leverages proprietary technology and expert healthcare professionals to provide access to high-quality and cost-effective dental care products and services.
The platform offers a range of services through online consultation, clinic network, and at-home services. With over 100+ specialist doctors, Smiles.ai serves over 3,000+ patients and conducts 5,000+ diagnoses every month, across Bangalore, Delhi-NCR, Pune, and Indore.
Dr Jatin Kakrani said, “With technology as the backbone of our operations, we are able to provide pre-purchase clarity, best-in-class care, and billing transparency to consumers with end-to-end support during the entire process. We will continue to invest in newer surgical technologies and skilled doctors to provide world-class treatment and experience to our consumers.”
The Series A funding will enable the company to cater to a larger user base in existing cities and expand its footprint across new cities in India. A significant amount of the fund will be invested in technology and to further strengthen the leadership team.
The dental care startup also plans to establish a presence in GCC by 2022 where it has initiated the process of setting up a subsidiary. It has also provisioned a chunk from the current round of investment for the same.
“We believe that the dental care vertical has the potential to create a valuable healthcare company, with a substantial improvement in customer experience. The Smiles.AI team has the right combination of a medical and a business background. We, at Sequoia Capital India, are impressed by their execution till date and excited to support them,” said Ashish Agrawal, MD, Sequoia India.
Ranjith Menon, Managing Director, Chiratae Ventures, added, “The dental care market in India is valued at $4-5 billion, growing at 15 percent CAGR. This is driven by a young population’s increasing awareness of health and aspiration to look better. Technology adoption and digitisation will lead the transformation of dental practice putting patient convenience and comfort at the centre in delivering products and services. We are excited to continue our support to the vision put forward by the team at Smiles.ai.”