New dental startup raises $37M; investors say traditional dentistry 'outdated,' 'broken'

New dentistry startup Tend raised $37 million in a Series B round that will help the company's aim of making dental visits a positive experience, reports Forbes.

"[Dentistry] is just outdated and a bit broken," said John Lyman, a partner at GV, which led investors in the second round. "[Tend] has a different approach."

The dental industry has seen "very little innovation," despite its almost $140 billion market, said Doug Hudson, CEO and co-founder of Tend. "I was just blown away that no one had created a consumer brand for dentistry."

Six things to know about Tend:

1. When patients make an appointment, they provide information on their insurance, but also what Netflix shows they want to watch during the visit, what flavor of toothpaste they want used and even what aromatherapy scent they want in the room.

2. The drills Tend dentists use are quieter to reduce anxiety, and the company reformulated its gum anesthetic to make it taste better.

3. Tend was co-founded by Mr. Hudson, Andy Grover and Michael Stenclick in October 2019. Mr. Hudson served as the former CEO at SmileDirectClub.

4. Tend has five studios in New York City, two of which just opened this summer. All the offices were forced to close in March at the beginning of the pandemic.

5. The company's revenue exceeded $5 million in 2019, though it is not yet profitable, said Chief Marketing Officer Matthew Fitzgerald. Since reopening, revenue has recovered more than 150 percent.

6. Tend plans to expand to new cities, starting in Boston and Washington, D.C.

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